7 arrested, 4 released in connection with dog theft during DC crime spree

Abby Sevcik and Rick Oleka were reunited with 10-week-old Pablo, their Australian shepherd, late Thursday following a police search of a Northeast D.C. home. (WTOP/John Domen)

One of the two dogs taken during a crime spree in D.C. earlier this week is back home, but while seven people were arrested in connection with the theft, four were released without charges on Friday.

Four adults, in addition to three juveniles, were taken into custody Thursday night as officers carried out a search warrant at a home in the 1200 block of 18th Place NE, Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief Morgan Kane said, in which they recovered Pablo — an Australian shepherd stolen from his owner during an armed robbery on Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said Friday evening that it had opted not to move forward with charges of receiving stolen property against the four adults arrested, and that all had been released. It added that the investigation continues.

It is unclear whether the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia intends to pursue the same charge against the three juveniles in the case. One of the juveniles, a 15-year-old resident of Lanham, Maryland, was also charged in connection with three armed carjackings throughout the District a day before the two dogs were stolen.

At a news conference Friday, Kane stressed the investigation remains in its early stages and that additional charges are possible. Detectives were still present Friday morning at the residence where officers found Pablo, she said.

Officers conducting the search found two guns — an AR-15-style rifle and a 45-caliber pistol —  along with various types of ammunition and drugs at the residence.

Pablo was reunited with his family on Thursday and appeared at Friday’s news conference, napping in his owner’s arms.

Bruno, a French bulldog stolen when his owner was held at gunpoint on the 5400 block of Kansas Avenue NW, that same day is still missing, Kane said.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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