CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Murray woman’s puppy stolen out of her yard

Apr 4, 2022, 11:13 AM | Updated: Apr 5, 2022, 2:33 pm
The puppy that was stolen, Diamond, after being reunited with Bazan. Photo courtesy of Yasmin Bazan.

MURRAY, Utah — Yasmin Bazan had her French bulldog puppy taken right from her backyard at her Murray home right in front of her. Pet theft can be an attractive option to thieves according to a Salt Lake attorney.

Bazan’s story

Bazan and her daughter were taking their puppy, Diamond, out to the yard when a man grabbed the dog by her neck. Bazan attempted to grab her dog back as an SUV pulled up and a man got out.

The first man threatened to strike Bazan, but she didn’t stop until the second man shoved her to the ground. They then got in the SUV with the dog and drove away.

Bazan has since been reunited with her beloved puppy Diamond, but this doesn’t mean that all pet theft cases have a happy ending.

More on pet theft

The stealing and re-selling of dogs is a crime that is more prevalent than you might think. Despite pets often being seen as family, the law sees them as property. This means that when a pet is stolen it is approached as theft rather than kidnapping. The monetary value of the pet determines the severity of the punishment.

If the pet is worth $500 or less, the pet theft could face class B misdemeanor charges. If the pet is worth $5000 or more, the pet theft could face second-degree felony charges.

“Many times, young puppies don’t have a chip in them yet,” says Clayton Simms, an attorney in Salt Lake who has worked on stolen pet cases. “They’re not identifiable as stolen or missing. You see robberies and thefts of anything that is of value, including our pets. If you have a breed that runs for a high price like a French bulldog or golden doodle, thieves are more drawn to them as they can re-sell or breed them.”

Simms advises victims of dog theft to call the police, spread the word, check local shelters and check resale websites. It’s common for dog thieves to use platforms like Craigslist to re-sell dogs under the typical asking price.

Dog owners should be aware of the possibility and stay cautious — even in their own homes.

Related: Lawsuit says peacock scratched girl’s face at Hogle Zoo

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