By Bay City News Service
Burglars broke into a Richmond police officer's home last week, poisoned his dogs and made off with an armful of guns in what appears to have been a targeted crime, a police lieutenant said Wednesday.
"It's very upsetting that one of our officers was specifically targeted," Lt. Bisa French said. "You would think your home is a sacred area, regardless of what you do in your profession. To be targeted in this way is upsetting to all of us."
French declined to identify the officer or to disclose the location of the home, citing safety concerns.
Early Friday morning, a family member called the officer to tell him that their dog was sick.
Upon returning home, the officer suspected the family's black Labrador retriever had been poisoned and rushed it to a veterinarian, Lt. Bisa French said.
While he was gone, burglars returned to the home and stole several personal items, including two handguns and three sporting guns, and poisoned a police K-9 in a backyard kennel, French said.
The officer found that someone had put out poisoned food for both dogs. The Labrador died the following day, and the police K-9 is still recovering.
"The dogs did not have to be poisoned to burglarize the home," French noted.
She said the Police Department has received a few tips in connection with the crimes but has not identified any suspects.
"We need the public's help," she said.
The Richmond police union and police management union are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the suspects' arrest and conviction.
Police are also offering other monetary rewards for tips that help recover the stolen items or that advance the investigation, French said.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Richmond police at (510) 232-TIPS. Callers may remain anonymous.
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