A therapy dog named Ben who works for a Massachusetts police department is being dogged with allegations he’s a thief.
The Franklin Police Department has been collecting toys for kids for the Santa Foundation, a local charity.
“We’ve had several officers that have worked very hard to make sure that some of the kids in town and the community that have needs will have something to open on Christmas,” Deputy Chief James Mill told news station WFXT TV.
After a couple of toys went missing, the officers started investigating the matter. They quickly fingered one of their own as the leading suspect.
“When Ben saw the toys, he thought they all belonged to him,” Mill told the station.
After officers caught Ben carrying a baby doll in its carrier by the handle, he attempted to out run them.
However, he ended up leading the crack investigators back to his bed under a desk where they found a complete stash of goodies, all covered with slobber.
Officers won’t be able to donate those extra-juicy playthings to kids, so the toys were replaced.
Don’t expect Ben to do any time for his crime: Officers said he probably won’t be charged with theft, but he has been permanently banned from the toy room.
The department tried to turn the dog’s alleged “crime spree” into a teachable moment on Facebook.
“We learned an extremely valuable lesson today,” the department wrote alongside a video of Ben making off with a doll. “When you have a classroom full of toys ready to be shipped off to the Santa Foundation, you should…. 1. Close the door to the classroom or 2. Keep the toys elevated.”
The department added that if these precautions were not taken, “a golden retriever will slowly hoard them throughout the day and bring them back to his lair.”