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Burglars kill dog in Smithfield break-in

A family pet was shot and killed during an Independence Day break-in at a Smithfield home, police said Monday.

Posted Updated

Aaron Thomas
, WRAL reporter
SMITHFIELD, N.C. — A family pet was shot and killed during an Independence Day break-in at a Smithfield home, police said Monday.

A burglary was reported at a home in the 400 block of Flowers Street at about 9 p.m. Thursday, and officers found a door had been forced open. A Shih Tzu was found shot to death in the kitchen, and three flat-screen televisions were stolen from the home, police said.

Darlene Cardarelli said 13-year-old Kimarhi "was not mean to anybody [and] never bit anyone," and she remains mystified as to why anyone would shoot a small dog.

"I don’t understand who would shoot a sweet, little dog like that. He’s not going to hurt them. It’s not like he’s a pitbull or rottweiler or something. It just doesn’t make sense," Cardarelli said. "If they’re going to come and shoot a dog, they have no problem shooting a person."

She said she was visiting family in Maryland for the holiday, and she was watching fireworks when she got the call that her home had been broken into.

"I never thought anyone would break in my house. I never had any problem in this area. It’s why I moved here, because it’s crime-free," Cardarelli said. "It’s no crime. It’s peaceful. It’s quiet."

Her dog sitter noticed a suspicious burgundy vehicle in Cardarelli's yard one day and called police, but the vehicle was gone by the time officers arrived, she said. Last week was the first time she had ever left Kimarhi at home alone, she noted, adding that she regrets the decision.

Some money also was stolen during the burglary, and because she has to pay for repairs to the back door, which was kicked in, and to replace her locks, Cardarelli said she doesn't have enough money to make her monthly mortgage payment.

"I don’t know who they are, but hopefully there’s enough evidence to find them and put them away for good, because that’s just like shooting a child to me. That was my child," she said.

Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to call Detective Ronald Johnson with the Smithfield Police Department at 919-934-2121 or the department's anonymous tip line at 919-989-8835.

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