Update: Stella, stolen by Christmas Eve burglars, now home

(UPDATED with Stella back home – see below)

ORIGINAL 1:50 AM REPORT: The dog on the left is Stella – and her people are without her this Christmas morning, after burglar/s stole her (and more) on Christmas Eve. Chris sent this report late Saturday night:

My in-laws in West Seattle, on 31st Avenue and SW Holden St, [map] in the High Point neighborhood were robbed tonight. Their names are Mark and Jodi … and they are some of the kindest people I know. They were gone for most of the afternoon and evening delivering presents to their family around the Puget Sound area.

The thieves took all their Christmas gifts, family heirloom Christmas decorations, their electronics (TV, computer, etc).

But the BIGGEST loss, is their dog. Stella, a 3 year old female spayed Boxer (usually with a pink rope-style collar) was stolen by these heartless thieves. If you can help us to find her, it would mean the world to us all. I attached a photo of Stella, she’s on the left in the picture.

Gifts and electronics can be replaced, and heirlooms are only to remind us of the memories we already have. Their wonderful, kind, dog however is not replaceable. We’re all completely heartbroken that she was taken; my in-laws loved her like a child, and my own puppy (on the right in the photo) loved her so much.

Chris says they hope getting the word out might bring Stella home. We’ve added her to the WSB Pets page, too.

10:22 AM UPDATE: Good news! Just in from Chris:

Just to update: apparently Stella came home this morning. Not sure if she was just accidentally released by the burglars or if they let her go. Still traumatic to have the robbery have occurred, but with the only items missing being Christmas presents, I know we’ll have a much better Christmas. I’m seeing her return as the best present we could have gotten, under the circumstances. Family and friends (including the 4-footed variety) is what the holidays are really about.

Apparently she just showed up at the door – not hurt, Chris says, but “very scared.”

56 Replies to "Update: Stella, stolen by Christmas Eve burglars, now home"

  • dameDonna December 25, 2011 (1:56 am)

    OMG! How absolutely horrible! It’s all so sad anyways, but someone’s dog?!?!? That’s a member of the family!

    I truly hope they get their doggy back. You’ll be in my thoughts.

  • Laura December 25, 2011 (2:32 am)

    Praying, wishing, hoping that this sweet girl is returned to her family. We have to stay positive and believe that someone who knows something will see this and at the VERY least turn her in. Prayers of strength are with you Mark and Jodi and may Stella be returned safely to her home. We can all keep a look out for “new” boxers in our neighborhoods and it looks like she has distinguished black spots on her side. That is a helpful identifier. Not going to give up hope that this beautiful girl will be found safe and reunited with her family.

  • Dustyhawk December 25, 2011 (2:54 am)

    Wow. Not to minimize the fear that so many of our neighbors must feel after having their homes robbed of property, but this really takes the cake for recent viciousness. My dog is my great Love. I can’t imagine how heartbroken you all must feel tonight. I’m on the verge of tears myself. I dearly hope this can be brought to a good conclusion. It is small consolation, but please know you are in my thoughts, and as the sun rises, so many more West Seattle-ites.

  • rockyraccoon December 25, 2011 (2:54 am)

    Anyone who would steal someone’s dog is just the lowest kind of scum. I hope bad and painful things are in their future.

  • Sonoma December 25, 2011 (3:27 am)

    I’m so sorry to read this. I hope that Stella is found soon. Very sad. Some people are just evil.

  • Megan December 25, 2011 (4:37 am)

    This is heartbreaking. People can be so terrible to each other. :(

  • Chuck and Sally\'s Van Man December 25, 2011 (5:17 am)

    Heartbreaking and infuriating. I hope that Stella is found/recovered ASAP, and that the culprits get what’s coming to them. It’s not a matter of if, but when. I look forward to reading the “Stella Returned” post soon. Merry Christmas to the devastated family.

  • TheDog December 25, 2011 (5:51 am)

    I predict that the dog will be found…and when she is, all the rest will be forgotten.

    Except maybe some of the heirlooms…but you know what I mean.

    My heart goes out.

  • Yodog December 25, 2011 (6:09 am)

    That is the most heartless thing. I cried when I read it. I hope someone will notice Stella do she can go back to the family that loves and misses her do much!

  • Arbor heights Rez December 25, 2011 (6:36 am)

    My deepest condolences! I can’t imagine the heart break! I hope your family finds Stella or that we encounter her so we can get her home where she belongs! I’m so sorry !

    What is wrong with people

  • Jennifer December 25, 2011 (7:16 am)


  • KT December 25, 2011 (7:38 am)

    This absolutely breaks my heart. I’m so sorry that you had to experience this. I have two boxers and can’t imagine coming home to find them stolen. I live in the area and will keep an eye out for Stella. I hope she finds her way home soon.

  • WK December 25, 2011 (8:07 am)

    I saw too young men getting arrested on Harbor Ave. S.W. last night around 1:00a.m. I also heard the police asking them about a dog. I’m praying for the return of man’s best friend, and hopt this was the thieves who have him!

  • Beth December 25, 2011 (8:13 am)

    No amount of words can express how awful I feel for you… and my intense anger for what happened.
    Please create a flyer and post it here so (we) can print it off as well as tweet and Facebook her information. A flyer ensures the info is consistent and accurate.
    I and I will get my community of friends to scour this city with her information. I would also attempt to get the news media to cover the story (email/call them today); it’s a sad Christmas angle but the word about the robbery problem in WS needs to be made more public and Stella needs to be found.

    • WSB December 25, 2011 (8:41 am)

      Beth, WSB *is* news media (with the largest news audience in West Seattle) … but other media outlets certainly read the site frequently (having had many stories “picked up” as well as seeing their IPs on our logs) and I would be surprised if they don’t chase this one. If our partners at the Times haven’t picked up our link for their home page yet, I’ll be suggesting it to them. WRT Facebook, you can share this story with the Share This button at the bottom of every WSB story (which goes to Twitter too); also, I posted this to the WSB FB wall after publishing it early early this morning and it can be shared there as well http://facebook.com/westseattleblog
      KT – You must be the person who just texted that same thing. I will see if any of our contacts are working today – and I hope to hear from Chris if there is indeed a break in the case … TR

  • Alice Kuder December 25, 2011 (8:23 am)

    Perhaps, rather than being taken, she ran away in fear? If so, seems likely she could be found or will find her own way home. Hoping for a Christmas miracle.

  • DTK December 25, 2011 (8:39 am)

    I hope Stella systematically kills each of the thieves as they sleep.

  • Stori H. December 25, 2011 (8:40 am)

    Ugh, horrible….Im sooooo tired of hearing about all the break-ins in my neighborhood. We live about 2 blocks away and my truck has been broken into 4 times in the last 2 years. i hope they get their dog back. I cant wait until these asses try breaking into our place, our Mastiff and German Shepherd are trained protection dogs and I will not show any mercy to the idiots that try getting into my home…

  • WD December 25, 2011 (9:02 am)

    This is horrifying. We’ll watch for Stella and alert all our friends and neighbors as well. I agree with DTK on this.

  • Alki Resident December 25, 2011 (9:23 am)

    I hope these people get charged for kidnapping,this shouldn’t be just a theft.Also,does Stella come when she’s called by her name?In case someone should see her?I hope these people turn to the news stations to get the word out faster.Good luck.

  • Shelly December 25, 2011 (9:26 am)

    I’m out now and keeping an eye out for Stella! Post a flyer and I’ll help post! Everywhere!! So sorry. 😢

  • Service Dog Academy December 25, 2011 (9:41 am)

    We would like to offer Stella’s owners our store window as a place for you to display a very large poster as well as have flyers stapled to our students homework. We would also like to help contribute to the amount of the reward for those who help find her. We hope Stella is found soon.

    Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS
    Service Dog Academy, Seattle WA
    Owner/Head Trainer

    • WSB December 25, 2011 (10:22 am)

      Just got a note from Chris that Stella is home. Adding to the story – TR

  • D December 25, 2011 (9:43 am)


    These crimals should be prosecuted for kidnapping!!! I hope Stella is found soon…

  • Amrakx December 25, 2011 (9:56 am)

    Disgusting, someone has obviously sunken to a new low.

  • tk December 25, 2011 (9:59 am)

    Hopefully Stella was just out wandering the neighborhood. You would have thought the dog would deter the robbers.

  • Eilene December 25, 2011 (10:41 am)

    Just read that Stella is back home, what wonderful news! We are so happy for her family.

  • rlv December 25, 2011 (10:41 am)

    Glad beyond words that Stella is home, and tremendously happy for Chris, getting to spend the day with your pup.

  • K December 25, 2011 (10:42 am)

    Any news on how Stella was retuned? So very lad she’s back with her people.

  • Beth December 25, 2011 (10:45 am)

    Please post info with details ASAP. THIS IS AWESOME NEWS!!!! THANKS BE TO GOD.

    • WSB December 25, 2011 (10:46 am)

      I added it to the story 20 minutes ago.

  • Dc December 25, 2011 (11:01 am)

    Thank goodness she is home. Yay!!!

  • JoAnne December 25, 2011 (11:01 am)

    Best West Seattle Christmas story ever!

  • Laura December 25, 2011 (11:04 am)

    I kept coming on here to check, hoping to read these exact words! Anyone who read this story could not fully enjoy their Christmas until knowing that Stella was returned safe! This is the best news ever. Thinking of this family and so glad that this part of the story has a happy ending.

  • furryfaces December 25, 2011 (11:06 am)

    Yeah. Merry Christmas to Stella, her mini me, and of course, her humans.

  • Tim December 25, 2011 (11:07 am)

    This is frightfully close to my home. I may have missed it, but does the local precinct make any recommendations on alarm systems or other protections for our homes?

  • Ranch December 25, 2011 (11:37 am)

    My dog would have went berserk if someone broke into our house, and that might have alerted neighbors. Stella looks pretty tough but must have a kind nature. Oh well. As another mentioned, there are great alarm systems available nowdays for reasonable rates. We have them at our house and it’s a good feeling when we can set the alarm before leaving home. Merry Christmas to all.

  • rockergirl5678 December 25, 2011 (11:39 am)

    Yeah, welcome home Stella! So glad to hear she is safely back with her loved ones. Now if the crooks were caught that’d be great news too!

  • MMB December 25, 2011 (11:43 am)

    Hey – STELLA!!! I am so glad you got home for Christmas!

  • Mickey December 25, 2011 (12:05 pm)

    Heart-wrenching story with a happy ending (for the most part). So glad your Stella is back home and safe. Merry Christmas to you all.

  • Mark December 25, 2011 (12:44 pm)

    Is the family accepting donations of christmas gifts? If so, how/where and how old are they?

  • KD December 25, 2011 (1:46 pm)

    So glad your #1 Christmas present is back! (sounds like good fodder for a new script for a Christmas book~”Stella The Christmas Return Dog!) glad she wasn’t ‘re-gifted! But I’m really happy with the owners wonderful attitude that the dog is much more cherished & important than any material gifts. Unfortunately there are thousands of homes right now where their electronics or their classic Air Jordans are cherished & taken better care of than their ‘pets’ (should be family/companions!) Kudos & way to go Stella’s owners! (now go pen that new Christmas book!)

  • Service Dog Academy December 25, 2011 (3:21 pm)

    Woo hoo! Stella came back! Glad she is OK.

    Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS
    Service Dog Academy, Seattle WA

  • wayne December 25, 2011 (3:25 pm)

    Has anyone looked into what WD said? Two young men were being arrested and questioned about a dog? It is worth looking into to see if there is a connection.

    • WSB December 25, 2011 (3:53 pm)

      I will but there’s no way to reach any of the usual contacts on a holiday except for emergency, which as heinous as this is, doesn’t qualify – it’s on my Tuesday list. Wish police reports were available sooner. Only call listed on the SPD time-lagged map is a narcotics stop in the 2100 block … TR

  • Rebecca December 25, 2011 (4:15 pm)

    So glad your dog is home!

    People like that will take dogs to train them to fight, or to train fighting dogs on them. Chip your dogs, so if they’re found, they can be immediately returned home.

    If you get an alarm, make sure it is audible!! I volunteered with the police for several years and heard from multiple 911 operators and cops that an alarm company calling is a low priority call. A neighbor calling because they hear an alarm is a higher priority call, and hopefully the sound will chase the robbers off.

  • S December 25, 2011 (8:06 pm)

    I’m so glad to know that your beloved dog came home and was uninjured. So sorry to hear about the burglary. So many creeps are out there and show their worst at the Holiday time. Getting something for Nothing. It is such a violation. Hope you were able to salvage your holiday and have a nice day regardless of what the thieves got away with.. and especially since your doggy came home safe. Hope the police are able to catch the *&#^%$%) Jerks that stole from you

  • Ronnie Applewhite December 25, 2011 (8:53 pm)

    So wonderful to hear that your 4 legged baby is home safe. I still can’t get over my anger that it happened in the first place, but at least there is something to feel good about.

  • sophista-tiki December 26, 2011 (8:54 am)

    This probably seems absurd to most of you “regular” people, I used to have prowlers at my house on a regular basis, going through my car, taking stuff out of the carport, and once someone even tried to climb up on the deck to break in the back of the house. As soon as I parked an old toilet out infront of my house for someone to take away for free, all prowling ceased! I’m sure my neighbiors hate me for it, but I havent had a problem since.

  • ws urbanite December 26, 2011 (10:13 am)

    Sophista-tiki: That’s so clever! Does it also reduce your property tax bill?

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man December 26, 2011 (2:10 pm)

    “Stella home” made my day. Still hope the crooks get what’s coming to them.

  • Arbor heights Rez December 26, 2011 (5:02 pm)

    So happy Stella is home

  • sophista-tiki December 26, 2011 (10:40 pm)

    haaha I wish, my property taxes still went up!

  • jodi December 26, 2011 (10:42 pm)

    Hi, I am Jodi. I wish to thank you all for your kind words and best wishes. We searched for Stella and Goofy our cat until 3 am. At which point we were both broken hearted and gave up for the night. We tried to get some sleep, but kept checking the back porch. Around 8am Stella showed up back home, we also found our precious cat, Goofy. The gifts and electronics are gone, we are very angry and shaken, but the important thing is our pets are home safe and sound. I had just about given up on decency in this community. You have given me back my faith in humanity. We hope to meet you all at the next community meeting. As for the robbers… Karma is a bitch!

  • Beth December 26, 2011 (11:10 pm)

    Jodi, so glad both (kids) are home safe. Praying for swift justice.

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