Paws In The Cookie Jar: Police Therapy Dog Caught Skimming Donations For Holiday Toy Drive

It requires a certain chutzpah to pilfer gifts from a holiday toy drive. And extra boldness is required when said holiday toy drive is located inside a police station! But when donations started disappearing from a Massachusetts lock-up, officers began to fear the worst. This Christmas crime spree was starting to look like an inside job.

Fortunately, the thief turned out to be a little bit sloppy – and slobbery. It was the station’s own therapy dog, Ben Franklin! And when officers caught him in the act, the furry perpetrator decided to run.

“When Ben saw the toys, he thought they all belonged to him,” The Franklin Police Department’s Deputy Chief, James Mill, told CNN affiliate WFXT.

Officers recorded the pooch as he scurried down the hallway with a stolen toy in his mouth, which he promptly stashed beneath a desk. Clearly not a career criminal, the adorably naughty dog had led officers right to his hiding place, where he’d begun stock-piling pilfered presents.

“We learned an extremely valuable lesson today,” officers wrote on Facebook, alongside video of this adorable crime spree. “When you have a classroom full of toys ready to be shipped off to the Santa Foundation, you should… 1. Close the door to the classroom Or 2. Keep the toys elevated. If not, a golden retriever will slowly hoard them throughout the day and bring them back to his lair. Thanks to Officer Cusson for capturing this larceny on camera.”

Fortunately for Ben, the first-time culprit got off easy without any charges, although he was permanently banned from the toy room. Officers also decided to just replace the presents so Ben could keep his pilfered playthings, which were already covered in slobber. It seems like this Golden Retriever has the whole department wrapped around his little paw!

“He has the run of the station, and it’s amazing he’s like one of those friends who always shows up at a party that everybody loves,” Mill said. “So even if you’re having a terrible day, if Ben walks in, seriously it’s like a ray of sunshine.”

Watch this adorable crime caper in the video below!

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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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