PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Norman Trask, a lawyer working in Presque Isle, was driving his black Ford F-150 truck around town when he stopped at the Star City IGA supermarket to pick up a few belongings on the way home.
But before he could even get into the store, someone jumped in his truck and drove off with it. Unbeknownst to the thief, inside Trask’s car was a 5-year-old Bernese Mountain dog named Finn, whom Trask occasionally brings to work with him from his home in Easton.
“The truck isn’t a big deal, but our dog Finn was inside,” recalls Norman’s wife Ellen Trask. An hour and a half after the theft was reported, Maine State Police located the truck at Caribou, but Finn was not inside and is still missing. That’s when Ellen took to social media to try and locate her lost dog.
“Facebook can be an amazing tool if used the right way,” said Ellen Trask. “A young man from Mars Hill said he spotted Norm’s truck driving erratically and very fast in the area. And then later a young girl said “oh, I saw a Bernese Mountain Dog in Westfield”. She had traveled on the road often and it was a dog she had never seen before.
Hundreds of nearby residents also shared tips on social media and some began to form a search team, starting at McBurnie Road in Presque Isle, but there was still no sign of Finn. At around 9 p.m. when the sky began to darken, Ellen Trask’s son Brad Trask and son-in-law Cody Humphrey began looking for him in the Westfield area where he had been spotted.
The men explored the nearby wooded area and called out Finn’s name, but the dog did not show up. Cell phone reception in the neighborhood is poor and when Brad Trask returned to the street to make a phone call, Finn was standing there.
“He was a little nervous at first, like he wasn’t sure it was someone he knew,” said Ellen Trask. “But when he realized it was Brad, he just ran and jumped straight into the truck.”
Suspected truck thieves Joseph Oldenburg, 25, and Macie Jones, 29, both of Caribou, were arrested by the Presque Isle Police Department and were still in jail on Wednesday evening. They face 10 criminal charges for theft, including evading a high-speed chase, refusing to submit to arrest, cruelty to animals and robbery by unauthorized take.
Although her family was the target of the robbery, Ellen Trask said the support and assistance that so many people have received demonstrates the kindness of people.
“It was amazing the number of people looking for him. It just warmed my heart, “she said.” A lot of people have posted to various places about it all and said ‘people are so bad and it’s terrible’. But I’ll tell you right now, it just shows me how good people are in general, and there are a few bad people who are on the wrong track. But they’re not bad, they just do bad things.
Finn was unscathed from the whole ordeal, only hungry for missing dinner.