MILLBURY (CBS) – A puppy stolen during a house break-in is back with her family in Millbury. A Facebook posting helped police crack the case.

It was heartbreaking when burglars hit a Millbury home three weeks ago, not because they stole some jewelry but because they also swiped Katie, one of the Samuelsons’ two Coton De Tulear puppies.

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Katie was stolen during a house break-in. (WBZ-TV)

Katie was stolen during a house break-in. (WBZ-TV)

“It’s everybody’s prayers I believe that brought this back to a happy ending,” Lori Samuelson said. “We were just so worried that he was going to toss her on the side of the road or something like that.”

Their public appeals to the crook’s conscience didn’t work, but things started clicking when several police departments huddled about the rash of recent burglaries.

It turns out Shrewsbury Police had recovered some of the Samuelsons’ stolen jewelry from a pawn shop and detectives in Sudbury had actually identified a suspect in several of the burglaries there.

It was Hector Torres of Marlboro, whose Facebook page included some interesting photos of a lake picnic featuring a certain small dog.

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A Worcester detective also recalled seeing the pooch during an unrelated probe involving the suspect’s friend.

Several search warrants and one informant later, Katie was located with a New Hampshire grandmother who had no clue the dog was stolen.

The family was reunited with Katie at Worcester Police headquarters.

“She’s the spunk in our family,” Eric Samuelson said. “She’s five pounds of spunk. It’s great to have her back.”

The suspect, Hector Torres, is apparently on the lam.

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