Grand Theft Puppy

As was widely reported over the weekend, thieves made off with a nice haul of puppies from the Pet Luv Pet Center on the 8000 block of S. Cicero. The 17 missing puppies cost around a $500 to $1000 a piece, meaning the total haul is around $10000 to $15000, according to the owners.

So what will the South Side Dog Nappers be facing when they’re finally brought to justice? A quick check of the animal cruelty statutes finds that unless they’re kept in wretched conditions or abused, none of those likely apply. Instead, it’s plain old thievery. That’s 720 Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated (ILCS for short) 5/16/-1 “Theft.” And since it’s axiomatic for State’s Attorney’s to charge as much as possible, and for the highest possible valuation of the goods stolen, so estimate their charging total to be closer to $15000.

Of course, the only number that is relevant to the State is the cut off number between the different levels of felony. In this case, between $10,000 and $100,000 is a Class 2 Felony.

I will do a primer on the levels of criminal offenses in IL in the next few weeks. But a quick quide is that there five levels of felonies in IL, starting at Class 4 (lowest level) through Class 1 (second highest) and then Class X (as in the letter, not the Roman numeral for “10″) within crimes that have amounts of possessions, or totals of dollar amounts, or degrees of touching. i.e. drugs, theft, sexual assault, and a handful of others.

As for what those dog nappers are up to? Well, it’s actually easy to sell dogs. I imagine most will disappear into the neighborhood, or possibly be disposed of online. It’s a nice haul, frankly, for a thief, and moving the goods will certainly be a cinch. You definitely don’t need a fence to sell a dog!

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