From narcotics to money, there is not much that cannot be stolen. However, the avarice of man is such that even children and animals are not spared from being treated as articles worth stealing sometimes. In an example of such greed receiving the punishment it deserves, a US man who stole puppies at gunpoint from a breeder was recently sentenced to over six years in prison.
Christopher Lamont Stimpson, Jr., 24, from Greensboro, North Carolina, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison on Wednesday for stealing five French Bulldog puppies from a breeder in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In addition to imprisonment, a restitution of $1,660 and three years of supervised release were also imposed on Stimpson.
"The defendant threatened a family at gunpoint inside their own home in order to greedily and callously steal vulnerable, living creatures. Our Office is committed to prosecuting dangerous, armed criminals, no matter where they may run and hide," said Jacqueline C. Romero, US Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in a statement.
Stealing Puppies at Gunpoint
According to evidence presented in court, in October 2020, Stimpson and his accomplice, Wilbert Curtis Trey Artis, III, posed as customers interested in purchasing five French Bulldog puppies from the breeder. The animals had a total value of over $23,000. Upon meeting with the victims–the breeder and his family–and gaining access to the infant canines, the duo pulled out a gun and trained it at them.
Following this, the pair stole the puppies and fled in their getaway vehicle, a rented car. While they made their escape, one of the victims managed to record the registration number of the vehicle, which was traced back to a car rental firm in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The success of Stimpson and Artis' heist, however, was short-lived. A customer–who had expressed interest in purchasing one of the puppies from the breeder–stumbled upon a post on Instagram that featured a photograph and a video of the stolen puppies, along with pictures of Stimpson and Artis themselves. This led the law enforcement authorities to the robbers and they were apprehended. The puppies were also recovered.
Ticket to Prison
In November 2020, Stimpson and Artis were indicted and charged with robbery which interferes with interstate commerce, and interstate transportation of stolen goods in connection with the robbery. They were arrested in December 2020, and in January 2021, were ordered to home confinement pending trial. Stimpson was convicted in April 2022 for the charges. Artis is yet to be sentenced.
"This was a frightening armed robbery that saw the victims menaced at gunpoint. The fact that puppies were the property taken renders this crime more unusual, but no less serious. Christopher Stimpson made the very bad decision to come to Pennsylvania and take these pups by force, and this sentence holds him accountable for his actions," said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Philadelphia Division.