SARASOTA- A bulldog “Maggie” pulled into a life of crime, eventually helped to identify her captors, and is now back home safe in California thanks to the Sarasota Police Department.

Between October 18th and 20th, 2019 at least eight burglaries on Lido Key were reported to the Sarasota Police Department.

Sarasota Police Officers canvassed the area to let people know that they were looking for a couple with a bulldog, and resident called police on October 20th to say they thought they saw the suspect.

52-year-old Tracie Eileen Defee of California and 48-year-old Michael Paine of Sarasota were arrested after being found hiding inside a bathroom in the 200 block of Grant Drive, as well as the bulldog.

Defee and Paine have been arrested and are facing multiple felony charges for the burglary spree.

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services took custody of Maggie and found that she had an electronic chip that revealed she belonged to a man in Sarasota.

Since then, members of the Sarasota Police Department worked to contact the family in California, secure ground transportation for Maggie and collect $800 for the transportation back to California.  Due to Maggie being a bulldog, she was unable to fly on an airplane.  Sergeant Eric Stafford, who spearheaded the fundraising, is extremely grateful for everyone who contributed at the Sarasota Police Department.

Maggie was reunited with her family on Monday in California.