Local News

Second man charged in theft of Durham officer's puppy

Posted May 4, 2014

Jorge Flores Benitez

— As police continue looking for a Durham officer's stolen puppy, authorities on Sunday arrested a second man in last week's break-in of the officer's home.

Jorge Flores Benitez, 19, of Wendell faces charges of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and larceny of a dog in the April 29 case, police said.

Christopher Reina, 18, of Broad Street, was arrested Thursday on similar charges, as well as charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of stolen goods.

Police said Reina told investigators that the dog was given to a family in the parking lot of Beauty World, at 1418 Avondale Drive.

The puppy has been without its prescribed medication, and investigators are asking anyone with information on its whereabouts to call 919-402-3809.

A $350 reward is being offered for its return, and police said the family with the animal will not be in trouble.

Several other items, including a police uniform and stun gun, were also stolen from the officer's home – investigators have not said where the break-in occurred.

Most of the items have since been recovered, but a few uniform shirts are still missing.

Police say all Durham police employees carry city-issued photo IDs and that anyone unsure about an officer's identity can ask to see his or her photo ID or call police to verify the officer's identity.

Benitez was also charged with burglary in connection with a March 26 burglary on Glengary Court in Durham, police said Sunday.


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  • "Screen Name-8/20" May 5, 2014

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    That's been my fear as well - that they tortured and killed the poor thing, out of pure meanness.

    I pray it's not so, and that the puppy is safe and happy with someone somewhere.

  • euimport1 May 5, 2014

    murder gets less coverage than this in durham. and when was the last time they actually caught a burglar? I guess actual police work is possible ...

  • Kevin O'Donnell May 5, 2014
    user avatar

    I hope the police can cut a deal to get the truth about the puppy. If they do not recovery the dog safely, I hope they get locked away with some tough hombres for quite a long time.

  • less_govt_is_better_govt May 5, 2014

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    Hit the nail on the head. Until the blue wall of silence is torn down and police actually remember they are there to protect citizens and apprehend criminals vs. suspecting all citizens as potential crim

  • kre2 May 5, 2014

    KERMIT60 - you hit the nail on the head. If it was a regular citizen, if would be take a report, file a claim with the insurance company, and that is it. More then likely the people who have the puppy don't even listen to or read the news.

  • Forthe Newssite May 5, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    THAT has been my fear from the very beginning! I so hope it's not so because if it is we won't see that puppy again :(

  • Bullcity34 May 5, 2014

    OK I see posts about cops not putting in efforts for other houses broken into. I understand your concern however, people need to get paid and I'm sure these 2 criminals went back to some folks bragging aboabout what they just did. Result being an informant needed some money and ratted them out. Not every home invinvasion is like this. Way to fast of a turn around

  • ncdime1235 May 5, 2014

    The reason this is getting so much hype is the fact that they were bold enough to break into an officer's home. The criminals that have no fear or respect for the badge are the most dangerous of all. I unfortunately agree with Fife. If this baby were given to a family, I'm sure it would have been returned by now.

  • ncprr1 May 5, 2014

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    I agree, but I am pretty sure that it's the theft of the uniform that is drawing so much attention. If it your were your house or mine that got broken into, they would send some sleepy cop over to take a report, case closed.

  • bushido2298 May 5, 2014

    Dump their phones and Facebook pages, you'll find all you need to find the puppy, no way on God's green earth was he handing a puppy off to a random family, he probably sold it to some dog fighting scum.