Washington state

'Obsessed' woman accused of rabbit theft

HILLSBORO, Ore. - An "obsessed" woman broke into a police holding area to take back about 130 rabbits she had been accused of neglecting, police said.

In October, Hillsboro police seized 150 live rabbits from the home of Miriam Sakewitz and found nearly 100 more dead ones in a trio of freezers.

Police and volunteers had cared for the rabbits since then, keeping them at what Commander Chris Skinner called a "secure, undisclosed location."

"They were having a quality of life they hadn't seen," Skinner said.

"They were being cared for several times a day."

Bunnies gone

But on Jan. 14, volunteers found a lock and chain-link enclosure cut and 130 of the bunnies were gone.

Skinner said that suspicion fell immediately on the bunnies' previous owner.

"In her mind, they are her rabbits. She is very obsessed with them," he said.

Sakewitz couldn't immediately be located.

A telephone call from a concerned hotel clerk led police to a motel in Chehalis.

The clerk became worried about the way Sakewitz spoke of the rabbits, looked up her case on the Internet and called police.

Police stop

Police said they tailed her and stopped her Monday, finding nine rabbits in her car, one dead.

They said they found 132 more at a Chehalis horse farm, with two more dead.

Police said she faces burglary charges.

Skinner said police had segregated the rabbits by gender, but Sakewitz mingled them.

"You see where I am going with this?" Skinner said Tuesday.

"We are not sure how many rabbits we are going to end up with after a 29-day gestation period."

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