LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A local mother is leading a search effort for her daughter’s 12-week-old puppy after she says burglars broke into the family home and left with the pup.

The shih-tzu named Bandit was given to 7-year-old Mariah Rangel as a present for doing well in school.

When her parents returned to their Redburn Avenue home in Avocado Heights after work last Thursday, they discovered the residence had been burglarized and the puppy was gone.

“I’m sad because he was like a person to me, like, he was like a brother,” Mariah told CBS2/KCAL9.

Mariah’s mother, Annette Rangel, says most of her jewelry and electronics were taken as well, but the family is most concerned about getting back their beloved pet.

“We thought we had him safe inside the house. We didn’t have him outside,” she said.

The Rangels are now offering a reward for Bandit’s safe return.

Those with information about his disappearance are asking to contact the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

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