Police: Stolen Darien dog recovered after being resold in Bridgeport

DARIEN — A Stratford man has been accused of breaking into a Darien home, stealing a dog and reselling it in Bridgeport, police said.

The dog, which was micro-chippped, was recently recovered after a restaurant diner spotted a dog that was similar to pictures of the stolen pet shared on social media.

In June, Darien resident Brittany Zepplin said she accidentally left the back door of her home unlocked. She said her dog was missing when she returned home on June 12. The dog was a brown dachshund who had been micro-chipped and could therefore be positively identified.

A woman in Bridgeport contacted Zepplin, who had posted signs and circulated social media posts, offering a $5,000 reward, after seeing what she believed to be the dog with a woman in a diner, police said.

The restaurant staff helped Zepplin contact the woman, who said she purchased the dog for $40 from a man named Dean, police said. The woman provided the contact information for the man that police said they used to identify him as Dean Henton, of Stratford.

The woman who purchased the dog confirmed Henton was the man who sold the pet, police said.

Police said video footage was obtained of Henton on the Darien Train Station platform with a brown dog under his arm on the date of the incident.

An arrest warrant for Henton was granted and he was taken into custody on Aug. 18 in Stratford.

Henton was transported to the Darien Police Department and was charged with third-degree burglary and larceny from a building. Police also discovered Henton had four outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court, totaling $120,000.

Henton, who has other pending charges out of Darien for burglary, identity theft, larceny and other offenses that occurred in 2019, is being held in lieu of $5,000 bond.

Zepplin said she was tremendously relieved to have her dog, whose name is Count Chocula, back.

“I’m so happy my dog was found, and I’m very pleased that the person who was responsible will be held accountable,” she said.