Four Face Charges Over Theft Of 19 Bulldogs
Four Port St. Lucie teenagers are facing charges related to the theft of 19 Bulldog puppies valued at over $100,000, according to police. They are facing charges related to grand theft, burglary, and dealing in stolen property after one of the dogs was sold.
Police executed a search warrant of the defendant’s home and recovered several of the puppies. One of the defendants is being charged with an unrelated strong-arm robbery in which he pushed an elderly woman to the ground after snatching her purse.
Thirteen of the missing bulldog puppies have yet to be recovered. Police are asking the public for information leading to the discovery of the bulldogs.
Tallying up the charges
Burglary is the first crime we’ll deal with. In Florida, it can be charged as either a first-, second-, or third-degree offense. In the event that the home was unoccupied at the time it was entered, it’s generally considered a third-degree offense. If the owner is assaulted or battered, then the charges escalate. In this case, the defendant would face charges for burglary in the third degree which has a maximum sentence of five years.
Of the charges, the grand theft charge asserting that the total value of the items taken was over $100,000 could put the defendants away for the longest period of time. Grand theft of items valued at more than $100,000 is considered a first-degree felony and punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Dealing in stolen property is considered a felony in the second-degree unless there was some kind of conspiracy or enterprise involved in which case it’s a first-degree felony.
That brings us to a maximum sentence of 50 years.
What will happen to the defendants?
They will go to prison for this crime. However, the worst charge is the grand theft charge and it’s unclear that 19 bulldogs are actually worth more than $100,000. The appraisal value of the bulldogs could actually significantly reduce the overall sentencing. If the bulldogs are appraised at anywhere under $100,000, that would reduce their sentence for that crime by half. Since it is the most serious charge, it would reduce their maximum sentence to 35 years.
Almost no one receives the maximum sentence for their first crime committed as a teenager. But police and prosecutors will work to identify a ringleader of the operation, and cut deals to the rest of them. Grand theft in the first degree has a minimum sentence of 21 months in state prison meaning that a judge may not sentence an offender to anything less than 21 months on a grand theft charge.
Talk to a Stuart, FL Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Eighmie Law Firm represents the interest of Port St. Lucie residents who have been charged with criminal offenses. Before you take a plea, let a Port St. Lucie criminal attorney look over the agreement. It may not be in your best interests.