Crime and punishment

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Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

So here’s a question for you.

How desperate does someone have to be in order to steal quarters from coin-operated washers and dryers? And how much do you think you could get?

Ok. So that’s really two questions. And yes, I am serious. Someone really did that.

According to published reports, Alisha Russell of Syracuse, NY, allegedly stole more than $14,000 worth of quarters from machines in an apartment complex in upstate New York. Russell, who once worked as the leasing agent at the complex where the thefts occurred was recently arrested on grand larceny charges.

Russell reportedly “had a key to the machines and regularly collected money from them as part of her job.”  Police say she lost her job for unrelated reasons before the investigation into the coin thefts — which occurred over a 10-month period — began.

Hmm…

How much is that little doggy in the window?

In other news, a Long Island man was also arrested on several charges including grand larceny and identity theft last month.

Police caught up with Victor Franco, 23, after he allegedly used a fake credit card to buy a puppy from a Merrick, NY, pet store. And this wasn’t just any puppy. It was a French bulldog that cost more than $3,000. In fact, the grand total was $3,592.21.

At the time of Franco’s arrest, police said the dog “still hadn’t been returned” to the shop, and added that it would be returned if they found it.

Franco also stands accused of using a fake credit card to buy a cell phone worth more than $200.

What is wrong with people?

To summarize, two people in two different parts of New York were arrested on grand larceny charges after they allegedly committed two very different crimes.

In one case, someone allegedly stole $14,000 worth of quarters from coin-operated washers and dryers at an apartment complex in upstate New York. In the other case, someone allegedly used a fake credit card to buy an expensive puppy dog from a Long Island pet store.

All of which leads to yet another simple — but rhetorical — question.

What is wrong with people?

And on that note, have a great weekend everyone…

Crooks sink to new low as ‘dognapping’ cases increase

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

What would you do if someone stole your dog? Or your cat, for that matter?

It’s probably something that has never crossed your mind. But it is something that you should probably start thinking about. Now.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

According to a commonly cited statistic, roughly two million companion animals are stolen in the United States each year.  Some disappear from back yards, and some vanish from “public places.” Some are snatched from cars.  Most are never seen again.

Each Valentine’s Day (February 14), Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a Los Angeles-based animal rights and advocacy group, joins similar organizations throughout the country to celebrate Pet Theft Awareness Day.  Its goal is to promote public awareness of the issue.

But to be honest, I had no idea that pet theft is so pervasive until I came across an article on an Ohio television station’s website. The account includes information about a couple that is suing an “estranged family member” who allegedly stole their dog. Shelby Patton, a plaintiff in the case, has reportedly started a petition in an effort to “change Ohio laws” so litigation is no longer necessary.

Fortunately, LCA says there are things pet owners can do to help prevent thefts. You can read those tips here.