There’s nothing more heartbreaking for a dog owner than when your pet gets stolen. You worry about their safety and wonder if you’ll ever see them again.
One of the best things you can do is try to get the word out, getting the story on the news and spreading it through the media. But when one local news reporter arrived to cover the story, she ended up saving the day in a way no one could’ve expected.
Earlier this week, a 13-month-old German Short Haired Pointer named Titus went missing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was believed to have been stolen when cameras caught a suspect breaking into a vehicle and walking off with the dog, Cambridge Police reported.
Juliana Mazza, of local news affiliate WHDH-TV, went out to film a segment on the case.
But she quickly got involved in a very unexpected way. With the cameras rolling, Mazza suddenly noticed a very familiar-looking dog. She quickly realized it was Titus, the exact missing dog she was reporting on.
Seeing the dog walked by a man who looked exactly like the suspect caught on camera, the reporter went in for one exclusive scoop.
“The first thing I did was I asked if I could pet the dog, because I wanted to get down to the nametag to be able to confirm that the name matched the name of the missing dog,” Mazza told Inside Edition.
She gestures at her camera man to keep the cameras rolling.
Confronted on camera, the suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Kyle Gariepy, put up a defense for why he had the dog, saying it was a misunderstanding.
“He was just barking in the car and I walked past the car and I thought it was supposed to be a dog I was dog walking,” Gariepy said, according to WHDH. “It wasn’t a kidnapping it was just a simple mistake.”
But Mazza, asking the tough questions fitting for a journalist, calls him out, asking why he wouldn’t have called the police or the dog’s owner, whose number is listed on Titus’ collar.
Finally, Mazza contacts the police, saying she has the missing dog and the suspected dog thief. They soon showed up and arrested Gariepy. According to Inside Edition, he was charged with larceny and breaking into a motor vehicle.
Titus, meanwhile, was happily reunited with his owner, Greg Siesczkiewicz.
“I’m thrilled to have Titus back. I think he’s glad to have me back,” Siesczkiewicz said.
“I’m just glad that the person came back and I’m just glad that you guys were there,” he told told WHDH. “If anyone ever sees this who question the value of media, social media, broadcast media, this proves it.”
And for this reporter, it was one news investigation she’ll never forget.
“Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would be the one to find the dog,” Mazza told Inside Edition.
On Twitter, she thanked her photojournalist, John Guice, for helping her take down the dognapper. “He actually spoke with the man first about how beautiful Titus was. As I walked over I quickly realized we found the dog and had the suspect. Wouldn’t have been possible without him!”
What a remarkable case of being in the right place at the right time. Thank you to Juliana Mazza for taking down this dognapper and getting Titus home safe!