Methuen man wanted on dog theft, other charges arrested after tense standoff

METHUEN, MASS. (WHDH) - A man wanted for stealing a dog in Nashua, New Hampshire was arrested in Methuen Wednesday after barricading himself inside a home, police said.

A SWAT team was called to College Lane around 7:30 a.m. after Steve O’Neal, 38, retreated into an attic when officers attempted to execute an arrest warrant on breaking and entering, drug, and gun charges, Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon told 7News.

O’Neil was arrested without incident about an hour later. Solomon said he was found hiding inside an end table in a bedroom.

There were no reported injuries and Solomon said O’Neil had recently struggled with mental health issues and has been linked to a recent break-in at a convenience store in Seabrook, New Hampshire.

Solomon confirmed that O’Neil is the suspect involved in the theft of a dog from a Walgreen’s in Nashua, New Hampshire Sunday. He said the victim tracked O’Neil down by searching for him on Facebook.

“The dog owner said she tracked him through Facebook,” Solomon said with a smile, adding, “She’s quite the detective.”

The dog’s owner told 7News she received a call about 36 hours later telling her the dog was at the College Lane address, where she was reunited with her pet.

Prior to the arrest, heavily armed police officers could be seen surrounding the home and taking cover behind tactical vehicles.

O’Neil is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in Methuen District Court.