MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two litters of puppies and an adult dog stolen sometime between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were returned to their owner Saturday.
Marcelo Cicuta, the dog owner, said “Thank you for giving my dogs back. Thank you [to the] police in Miami, in Broward and in North Miami.”
City of Miami Police arrested,Vigil Phillip Birch, 29, and charged with 16 counts of grand theft and 16 counts of dealing in stolen property.
According to the arrest report, Birch told police he purchased the puppies for $2, 200 with intent to resell from a friend that stole the puppies from the home but Police told CBS4’s Jaime Guirola, Birch stole the puppies and took them to a friend’s house in North Lauderdale. When another friend heard they were stolen, a tip was dropped to police.
Birch told police he took 8 puppies to a location in North Lauderdale to have them raised so they wouldn’t die. Crimestopper tips led the police the location where they recovered 8 of the 15 puppies.
According to the arrest report, North Lauderdale Police were able to provide the victim and Miami Police with another tip which led to Birch who told police he had worked with the victims in the dog breeding world. Birch said he later saw the story of the puppies on the news and dropped off the remaining puppies and the adult male dog at the police department where he was arrested.
On New Year’s Eve, Cicuta had left his home for several hours and returned home to discover that his litter of puppies–along with an adult dog–had been stolen.
Cicuta reported to police that sometime between New Year’s Eve and day, a litter of 15 French Bulldog puppies, along with an adult French Bulldog, was stolen from inside his home.
According to the incident report, he left his home around 7:20 PM on New Year’s Eve. When he returned home, around 2:30 AM, he noticed the side door of his home and a window were both open.
The dog thief, according to the report, used the victim’s mother’s pillow case to carry the 15 puppies along with the adult dog.
Cicuta said his adult French Bulldog is a champion show dog.