By Anna Troppens
Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 8:10 AM EST
Holly Twp. — A home invasion has left the Yagiela family with a dead pet, a ransacked house and many stolen belongings. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, Mike Yagiela left his house on Belford Road at 9 a.m. and returned at 2 p.m. His door was kicked in, and the entire house was torn apart. In addition, his dog of 10 years, Nanook, was shot and left to die. The wound on the dog’s left side was consistent with a small caliber handgun, said Det. Sgt. Gary Muir, of the Michigan State Police Groveland Post. “It’s definitely elevated from a regular breaking and entering,” Yagiela said. The state police told him most criminals don’t bring a gun to a breaking and entering, and they don’t kill animals.
Mike and his wife, Tonyia, were both away from home at the time. Mike said he is thankful for that, because they could have been shot, too. They are very upset about their German shepherd/Chow mix, Nanook, being killed. “He was a beautiful dog,” Mike said. “He’d lick you to death, but he’d never bite anybody.” Their pets are like their children, said Mike, who returned on Feb. 16 to find Nanook lying dead in the kitchen, near the door. Numerous items were taken from the home. These included musical equipment, a handgun, jewelry, a television and other items, Mike Yagiela said. “They just cleaned us out.” The thieves turned furniture upside down and ripped drawers out. Things were tossed around. Yagiela believes it was more than one person. The thieves shut the door as they left, so no one would notice. The Yagielas have insurance, but Mike recently lost his job. “Then this happened,” he said. “My wife is terrified. She doesn’t really want to stay here.” Their neighbors have had break-ins, but the Yagielas never had any problems before, Mike said. State police have some physical evidence they are sending to a laboratory, Muir said. Anyone who has any information on the incident should contact the Michigan State Police Groveland Post at (248) firstname.lastname@example.org; 810-433-6792