DA Says Dog Nappers Wont Face Prison Sentences

Despite a long list of charges and an outraged community, there will be no prison sentences for the two defendants suspected in the theft of a van full of show dogs. The van was stolen June 6th from the parking lot of In-N-Out Burger in Redding. It contained 14 purebred champion bloodline dogs on their way to a dog show in the Bay Area. The van had been left unattended for a few minutes, still running so the air conditioning would keep the dogs comfortable. The following day a tip brought police to a wooded area off Canyon Road about a half-mile from Highway 273. That’s where the van was found abandoned with all the dogs inside. They were hot and thirsty, but apparently alright. Surveillance video from In-N-Out led to the arrests of 41-year-old Benjamin Larson and 28-year-old Billy Jo Patterson. Larson was arraigned Thursday and Patterson will be arraigned after he’s extradited from Trinity County. Both men are charged with vehicle theft, grand theft, 14 counts of animal cruelty and 14 counts of grand theft of a dog. The district attorney’s office says AB-109 precludes state prison for any of those crimes.

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