Dog, valuables stolen from Wilton Manors apartment

WILTON MANORS, FLA. (WSVN) - - A South Florida man is hoping the public will help reunite him with his dog, days after, he said, the animal was stolen from his apartment.

According to Wilton Manors resident Gregory Leoce, someone broke into his apartment, located on Northeast 26th Street and Ninth Avenue, through the kitchen window, Thursday, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Leoce said the perpetrator, who was caught on surveillance video leading the canine on a lease, also got away with his visiting friend’s laptop computer and passport.

He was shocked when his friend, Bryan Castro, alerted him about the break-in. “He texted me and asked if I was home. I said no, and he said, ‘Well, I think your apartment got broken into,'” said Leoce. “He said his computer was missing and my dog was gone. I made him repeat it because I couldn’t believe it.”

Gregory Leorce
Gregory Leoce

Castro said he quickly noticed Leoce’s 4-year-old dog, Sophie, missing.

“The first thing I noticed, Sophie wasn’t here. Then I realize something was wrong here,” Castro said. “I noticed the window was broken and shattered glass everywhere. I decided to go to my room, and my computer was missing. I had my passport in my computer bag and some cash for my international trip, but my biggest concern was the dog.”

The heartbroken victim said he lost more than just a pet. “I feel empty,” Leoce said. “I actually lost my best friend last week, so that was hard enough as it was, and then this week now my apartment got broken into, and I lost my other best friend, so it’s been a rough year so far.”

Sophie has cancer and needs medication that only Leoce has. Greg is now passing out fliers, hoping that someone will recognize the dog and alert police.

“This is unimaginable to me. What kind of person would do something like this?” Leoce said. “She is the sweetest thing, never barks. When they broke in, she probably was giving them kisses. She would go with anybody.”

Investigators found fingerprints in the apartment, but it will take up to three months for results to be available.

Castro hopes whoever took Sophie will return her soon so she can be medicated.

“If you still have the dog, please return it to us or to Channel 7,” Castro said. “We don’t care who you are. We want the dog back, so she can be taken care of.”

If you have any information on this burglary, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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