Expensive electronics like her television and her laptop were missing. But all Connors could think about was her dog, a 7-year-old female Maltese named Plato. Plato was at home at the time of the burglary, and Connors frantically ran from room to room calling the dog’s name.
“She usually runs up to me when I walk in and she didn’t come running up to me,” Connors told WXIA 11 Alive News Atlanta following the incident.
Plato was nowhere to be found. It was clear then the burglars didn’t just take the expensive items from Connors’ apartment, but they had taken something much more priceless: Plato.
Soon after the burglary, Connors began receiving menacing phone calls from the man who had taken Plato. Like something out of a movie, the dognapper demanded a ransom.
“And he says, ‘I got your dog and it’s going to cost you $3,000 to get her back,’” Connors said, remembering the sinister voice on the other end of the line.
The threats didn’t stop there. Connors began to receive text messages from Plato’s captor.
“And u right i am a terrist and if u think im kidding dnt have that cash and watch how i torture this dog,” one text read.
Fearing for her dog’s life, Connors decided to pay the ransom. She was able to talk the dognapper down to a final amount of $1,000.
“So bring the 1000 and just remember if u play eany games i will kill the dog in front of you,” the man replied in a text message.
That’s when Connors received a terrifying photograph of Plato, a gun pointed at the little Maltese’s head. She knew that she would need to act fast if she was going to save her furry friend.
“He threatened to kill her, to cut off her head, to torture her,” Connors remembers.
Connors arranged to meet the dognapper in front of a bank on Cheshire Bridge Road, a busy street that she thought might be the safest spot possible.
Sure enough, the burglar arrived on time, carrying a backpack; zipped up in the backpack was a frightened Plato.
“I said show me the dog and he kind of opened [the backpack] a little and she stuck her nose out and she saw me,” Connors said while describing the exchange.
Seeing her owner, Plato got so excited that she leapt from the backpack and into Connors’ arms. The criminal snatched the $1,000 from Connors’ hand and fled.
“I was just relieved to get my dog back,” Connors explained. “I would do anything for my pet, I love her. She’s part of my family and she is unconditional love,” she added.
The police explain that though this type of crime is very rare, they are nonetheless taking the situation very seriously. Anyone with information about the burglary of Emily Connors’ apartment or Plato’s dognapping is asked to call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS.