A soft-coated Wheaten Terrier named Clancy saved his guardian Agnes Larson from home intruders. Photo: Brian Basham/Record
A 7-year-old dog saved his guardian from two home intruders and in doing so has also helped police crack several unsolved robbery cases. Clancy, a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, scared off two men intent on robbing Agnes Larson after they broke into her home in Park Rapids, Minnesota.
A few weeks ago, Agnes had taken some sleeping medication before bed time. Clancy, who she calls a "big pushover, a baby", was resting in his usual spot on the end of her bed. As she dozed off, Agnes recalls him growling and observed him stand up and leap off the bed. She told DL-Online, "He started growling, and even though he never does that, I still didn’t think too much at first. But then he stood up, started to bark and then took a big leap. It must have been eight feet before he even reached the ground."
Groggy and sleepy from the medication she was completely unaware that there were two intruders, one armed with a crowbar, inside her home and standing just 12 feet away.
When she woke the next morning and found a puddle on the kitchen floor she first thought Clancy had had an accident and blamed him. But she soon realized someone had been inside her home when she saw the crowbar laying on the floor with foot prints and her deck door open. She immediately called police.
Police were able to follow the tracks to a nearby hardware store and used surveillance camera footage at the location to trace the two men. They later arrested Cody Hawk, 20, and William Dunbar, 18, on suspicion of the burglary.
Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers told DL-Online that the two men later confessed to the crime. "They confessed to police that when the dog started barking at them, they grabbed a small butcher knife from the kitchen and were going to kill the dog first and then use their weapon on Agnes if she didn’t shut up and stay in her room."
But the thieves changed their mind and left when Clancy growled at them. Poice said that it turns out the men had gotten a tip from Agnes' former cleaning lady that Agnes kept cash in her dresser. The woman had apparently stolen an envelope with $550 cash from Agnes 2 years ago. Agnes said the money was from a garage sale and that she didn't have anything like that in her house. "I suppose she thought I always kept something like this in there and told this guy about it."
The two men have been charged with first degree burglary. Police Chief Eilers said that police suspect the pair of having hit several other homes of elderly people in the area and are continuing to investigate.
Eilers said, "Things could have turned really bad really fast. That dog really was a hero."
Agnes has since changed her locks and is welcoming friends and family to spoil Clancy, saying the unexpected hero deserves it. "My kids never really liked Clancy because they thought he just needed too much attention, but they like him now," she exclaimed. "I know he's spoiled rotten, but it obviously doesn't hurt to spoil your dog — not one bit!"
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