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Service dog stolen from woman's home

Posted: 10:36 PM, Apr 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-24 22:36:06-04

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Erica Romeu said someone stole her dog from her home on Golfview Blvd. in Lehigh Acres sometime before 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The dog’s name is Alaiia and helps Romeu who struggles with anxiety and bipolar disorder. She said Alaiia is the best.

“She’s an amazing dog. She’s very humble and she’s very well trained,” said Romeu.

She said the dog also kept her and her kids safe. She’s been out of sorts without her dog.

“I feel right now unprotected,” she said. “I didn’t sleep.”

She said she knew something was wrong when she found a bag of hot dog treats in her front lawn. Something she said she would never feed her dog because it makes her sick.

Whoever stole the dog also cut a hole into Romeu’s lanai and after luring the dog with enough treats, they pulled her out.

Romeu said the person responsible didn’t stop at stealing her dog.

“They tried to get in the house. They tried to open the windows,” she said.

But they were unsuccessful. Southwest Florida Crimestoppers said they’ve seen an uptick in dog thefts. This is the second this month in Lehigh Acres. Spokesperson Trish Routte said they don’t know if this is the case here, but they often see stolen dogs used for fighting or breeding.

“When animals are stolen, more times than not, they’re stolen for an ulterior motive,” she said.

But Romeu said she’s hopeful her dog will come home. Until then, she’ll be thinking of her.

The dog was last seen wearing a pink collar with a tag that has Romeu’s phone number. Anyone with information can call SWFL Crimestoppers.