Thief Steals Dog, Cameras, Computers From Rittenhouse Apartment

By David Chang
|  Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013  |  Updated 12:24 AM EDT
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The search is on for a thief who’s targeted Philadelphia’s richest neighborhood...stealing computers, cameras and now a woman’s pet. As NBC10's Denise Nakano reports, this type of burglary doesn’t happen often.

NBC10.com - Denise Nakano

The search is on for a thief who’s targeted Philadelphia’s richest neighborhood...stealing computers, cameras and now a woman’s pet. As NBC10's Denise Nakano reports, this type of burglary doesn’t happen often.

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Police are investigating a series of burglaries in Philadelphia’s richest neighborhood. Police say at least one thief is targeting a Rittenhouse Square apartment complex. 

The most recent victim, Ali Rans, says she arrived home from work at her apartment building on the 2000 block of Walnut Street on Friday when she realized someone had broken through her door with a crowbar. A thief had stolen two computers, three cameras, her grandmother’s necklace, and her six-pound dog named Betty.

“I can only assume they took her away in the dog bag and left the building that way with my belongings,” Rans said.

Police say they recently arrested a man for three similar daytime burglaries in the same apartment building. One resident, who did not want to be identified, says she was the thief’s first victim on May 20.

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“I put furniture in front of my door when I go to sleep at night to feel more secure,” she said.

That suspect, who has not been identified, was recently released on bail however. Police are unsure if he’s connected to Friday’s burglary.

Pete Mitchell has lived in the apartment complex for about ten years.

“Great neighborhood,” he said. “One of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia.”

But Rans says nothing will keep her from leaving. With the help of her family, she’s packing up and moving out.

“As soon as she saw Betty was gone she couldn’t stay here,” said her mother, Sue Rans.

Rans says the dog survived being abandoned on a Camden Street. She was fostering her until she could find her a permanent home.

“I’d say, ‘You’re safe. Why are you barking? Nobody can get in here,’” said Rans. “Then I came home Friday. I felt terrible.”

While Rans says she can replace her stolen property, she’s asking the thief to drop her dog off at the SPCA.

Police continue to investigate.

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