SAN JOSE (CBS SF) - The puppy taken from a San Jose home during a burglary Monday has been reunited with its family Thursday afternoon after being found in a Los Banos Target parking lot.
The Monday burglary was the second time the Mabanag family's Park Sharon Drive residence had been broken into.
"I'm just so happy he's back with his family. He's safe no matter what now," said 10-year-old Marissa Mabanag as she clutched Meeko, the 6-month-old Yorkie-Shih Tzu.
City Councilwoman Nancy Pyle, Councilman Ash Kalra, representatives of the police and firefighters unions, and a number of reporters gathered around to watch the girl embrace her dog, and Blanca Del Real, who found the dog, accepted $6,000 in reward money.
On Wednesday, the San Jose Police Officers Association and San Jose Firefighters Local 230 each offered up $2,500 for Meeko's safe return. Kalra's office put up $1,000, and Marissa offered the money from her piggy bank.
Kalra said that he sees a trend of increasingly brazen burglaries in the city that he finds deeply troubling.
"People are very well aware of the fact that we're so short on officers, we don't have a burglary unit...City Hall has to take ownership of this and figure out what the next steps are."
Then, Kalra said, there is the fact that Meeko was found in Merced County.
"This puppy was found 72 miles away, which means there are people that are coming from long distances to take advantage of our residents," Kalra said.
A few feet away, Marissa stood with her dog as her family looked on.
"I just can't believe he's in my arms right now," Marissa said.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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