Since July 6th, 26 year old Hamtramck resident Erica Pietryzk has been searching for her Australian Silky Terrier, Lilly. One morning Pietryzk let her dog out into her enclosed yard, and when she returned several minutes later Lilly was gone. Like any pet owner, she spent the subsequent time combing near-by streets and calling out for her pet-but Lilly was nowhere to be found.
Lilly was equipped with a dog-tag that listed Pietryzk’s cell phone number and home address; however helpful in the hands of a Good Samaritan, such personal information being exposed to a criminal is an unsettling reality for Pietryzk who is concerned that her info may be used to exploit her in the future. “How do I know he won’t come break into my house?” she said. Shortly after searching for Lilly, Pietryzk was contacted by a restricted number. “When I answered the phone, I said, ‘Hi do you have my dog?” The caller responded by requesting an exorbitant ransom for the return of her beloved pet; Pietryzk replied that she could not pay that amount of money and the unidentified caller/suspected thief immediately disconnected the phone call.
Hamtramck Chief of Police Max Garbarino is currently on the case; he says these types of crimes occur more often than you would think, “I know the animal rights people have complained that there have been a bunch of these thefts recently… and people need to be aware” he says. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done in these types of cases without more direct evidence. Garbarino warns that the best precaution for avoiding future petnapping is to avoid leaving pets unsupervised outside. Any newly uncovered information regarding Lilly’s whereabouts or possible return to her owner Erica Pietryzk can be reported to the Hamtramck Police Department and posted to the Missing Michigan Dogs Facebook page.