Veteran uses skills to track down dognapper who stole family’s pet Yorkie

Dognappings have recently increased, leaving many families heartbroken and concerned after thieves steal their beloved pets.However, thanks to the assistance of a local Marine Corps veteran, one family was able to recover their stolen dog.Raquel Witherspoon was devastated when her family’s beloved Yorkie, Avery, was stolen from her home in June.A doorbell camera caught the dog thief luring Avery with treats before walking away with the dog.

Semaj, her 12-year-old daughter, was devastated by the loss of the dog.”He’s a family member, he’s my grandson and her son, and we’ve had him for three years, he means everything to us,” Raquel told WJLA in June.Raquel and her family began searching everywhere for Avery, posting signs around the neighborhood — but this only made the situation worse.

The dognappers began sending threatening texts to the family, including a video of the poor Yorkie caged.According to the Washington Post, the family pleaded for the dog’s release, but the dognappers laughed and demanded a $1,200 ransom.Negotiations are said to have failed, and the dognappers have gone silent.Now that it was a matter of life and death, the family became even more desperate to reclaim their dog before it was too late.

Fortunately, they received much-needed assistance when Richard Machamer, an Iraq war veteran who served in the US Marine Corps, offered to use his skills to track down the thieves and return Avery.”The news happened to show a reward poster,” Machamer explained on Good Morning America.
“I texted her at that number and told her I could assist her if she needed it.”Machamer got to work, exploring “rabbit holes” and attempting to extract geolocation data without success.Eventually, the vet resorted to a “Hail Mary” maneuver: he entered the dognapper’s phone number into his own phone, hoping that it would lead to their social media.

It worked miraculously: Machamer’s Instagram, which was linked to his phone number, suggested he follow an account associated with the phone number — the profile of a body piercing business.He discovered a 16-year-old on Instagram who resembled the dognapper in the doorbell video.Police reportedly apprehended the 16-year-old suspect, and Avery was safely returned home.The little dog was overjoyed to be home and see her family again, and the family was overjoyed to have her back.

“I thought, ‘They got him back!'”Semaj, now 13, spoke to the Post.”I didn’t want to face the fact that I wouldn’t see my dog again.”As the owner of a Norwegian elkhound and a Pomeranian, this Marine’s mission was completed.”I have two dogs of my own,” Machamer explained.”I couldn’t imagine how I would react if someone took one, especially if they sent a picture of one in a cage.”