Family dog saves the day after suspects try to break into Virginia home with kids inside

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- A Virginia Beach man said the family dog chased away two suspects after they tried to break into his home.

“I think when he popped this off and it fell ... it scared my daughter that was sitting on the couch,” Tim Ryan told WTKR.

He showed WTKR how two people broke into his house when his two teenage daughters were home alone.

“I was scared for the safety of my daughters,” he added.

Tim Ryan and Penelope

He said he believes the burglars jumped on a blue recycling bin and hopped over the fence to the back door of their home in Virginia Beach.

“There were a bunch of cop cars here already, the K-9 unit was here, police helicopter was flying overhead,” said Ryan.

Virginia Beach Police were looking for two people who tried to break into the Old Dam Neck Road home he shares with his two daughters. Ryan said it’s a quiet area.

“This is the only break-in that I’ve heard of,” he said.

But, thanks to Penelope, the family dog, both girls are safe.

“My eldest daughter, Kelly, said that (Penelope) chased away the burglar. I was shocked. I really thought she would just lick the guy to death,” said Ryan.

Penelope, who is a half labrador retriever, half pit bull rescue, did the exact opposite. Her barks scared the burglar away.

Police have not found the two who tried to break into Ryan's home. So far, there are no matching fingerprints from the damaged back door.

“I’m afraid to think of what could’ve happened. If the guy was crazy enough, he could’ve maybe hurt my children,” said Ryan.

But, he said they’re doing OK thanks to his best friend.

“Unbelievably surprising and rewarding to know that you have a dog that did that," Ryan said. "It gives me a little more comfort when I’m not home and my kids are home by themselves."


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