A prowler broke into a Long Island home through a doggie door and police believe the burglary may have been part of a spree in the area.
Suffolk County Police Inspector Robert Brown said the thief grabbed jewelry at the home on Monday while the residents were at a funeral.
Tom Dooley believes his dog, Skipper, a German pointer, scared off the burglars before they could take anything else.
"We actually feel lucky," Dooley said. "We weren't home and no one was hurt."
Police believe the home may have been targeted as part of a string of about a dozen burglaries in Islip and West Islip. In most cases, Brown said, the thieves knock on doors to determine if anyone is home.
If someone answers, the thieves ask for directions or inquire about a fictitious friend, and then leave.
If no one is home, they break in through back doors or windows.
One homeowner in the area said it doesn't make sense to live scared. Residents, though, are being more alert about locking doors and watching out for each other.
"You can't be afraid, just careful," said Cara Pitta.
--Greg Cergol contributed to this story