Man arrested for suspected $80,000 dog heist in Florida

MIAMI, Florida Sat Jan 4, 2014 7:31pm EST

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MIAMI, Florida (Reuters) - A suspected dog burglar who stole a prize-winning French bulldog and fifteen puppies valued at $80,000 has been arrested by police in Florida and the purloined pooches were returned to their owner in Miami.

Police said on Saturday 29-year old Vigil Philip Birch was in custody, charged with grand theft and dealing in stolen property. The dogs went missing on New Year's Eve.

Birch told police he planned the resell the dogs, which he bought for $2,200 apiece from an unidentified friend who he said stole them. Lawyers for Birch were not immediately available for comment.

The stolen dogs included El Che, named after Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and a winner of an award at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 2010, according to owner and Miami-based breeder Marcelo Cicuta.

El Che and puppies as young as 16 days old were recovered about 30 miles north of the Miami home from where they were stolen. Some were found on the street, police said.

"Everything is OK, all the puppies are perfect," Cicuta told Reuters. "I'm very happy… the dogs are happy, Che is very happy."

French bulldogs - the third-most commonly stolen breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club - can fetch up to $2,500 each.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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Comments (3)
WhyMeLord wrote:
OMG, thousands of Americans, and millions of people around the world are starving to death, and 16 dogs carry a price tag of $50,000.
Utter foolishness and the result of “people of means” having too much money for their, or anybody else’s for that matter, own good.
It’s time for an adjustment, and some old fashioned equalization.
No dog should be worth more than a human being, and that’s my belief.
If you share my opinion on this, bark twice and lift your leg high.

Jan 05, 2014 12:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
rtbaseman wrote:
WhyMeLord…this transfer of wealth, should start with those like you. All those who think like you should volunteer to give up at least 5% percent of your income to take care of those who you feel are deserving of a piece of others peoples income. Just this itself should alleviate the problem. However, I’m guessing that you count yourself among those deserving of a handout. There would be fewer needy if they studied instead of partied and used birth control. Anyone who spent 4 plus years getting a higher education and doing it successfully, have the right to enjoy what they have rightfully earned.

Jan 05, 2014 2:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
Daleville wrote:
WhyMeLord:

Is there anybody or anything that you don’t hate?

You should take Lord out of your user name because you don’t know anything about him at all.

Jan 05, 2014 6:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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