A canine culprit full of money is running around Clearwater, sharing and airing his monetary spoils with all the neighborhood.
Arnie O’Kelley has a lovable personality, sweet beagle eyes and a dirty little secret. The repeat offender’s crime makes him sound more like a banker: snacking on $300 in cold, hard cash.
"I saw there was a 20 and a five," Arnie's owner Corey O'Kelley said. "The five had been chewed on a little bit, and so, I didn’t think much of it. I figured my wife had a few bucks in her wallet."
The remaining $275? Nowhere to be found.
Sometime in the middle of the night, Arnie snatched O’Kelley’s wife’s purse off of the kitchen counter, pawed through the contents and found the perfect midnight snack for his expensive taste.
“She came flying out of the bedroom saying, 'Oh no! Oh no!'” O’Kelley recalled when his wife found she had been robbed by a dog burglar.
"She started going through it and realized that the dog had eaten all of it except for that 20 and that ripped up five,” O’Kelley said, pointing to the remnants.
Arnie had gotten hold of the $300 that O’Kelley’s father-in-law gave the couple for their daughter’s swim lessons.
The little burglar already had a rap sheet for the same crime. The 10-year-old committed the same offense about 7 years ago when he devoured a hundred bucks.
The O’Kelleys got lucky that time because it came back in... well... one piece. This time though, Arnie proved to be a good thief, but his previous escapade didn't provide a lesson in how to hide evidence.
The chances of the O’Kelleys recovering all the money this time is slim.
"It looks like our optimism is escaping us, because it looks like he systematically tore every single bill apart and swallowed it,” O’Kelley said.
There is a chance the O’Kelleys' literal money-laundering efforts might pay off. Some banks will trade in the money if the serial numbers are clearly visible.
For now, Arnie is in the dog house. There is no telling if he will strike again when he gets out.