A gang member convicted of stealing a puppy from a nine-year-old girl will serve six years in state prison.
Jose Castrejon, 26, was sentenced Feb. 1 in Pomona Superior Court, according to a news release. The incident happened in the unincorporated community of Bassett, south of Baldwin Park, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Industry Station, on April 7, 2010.
At around 7:35 p.m., the girl was walking to a market on Workman Mill Road with her uncle to her pit bull puppy Mia a collar, according to authorities. She entered the market and picked out a pink collar. The victim’s uncle went to pay for it. The girl waited just outside the doors of the store with her puppy on a leash.
While the girl was waiting for her uncle, Castrejon snuck up behind the victim and grabbed the puppy by the neck. He easily overpowered the little girl, who still held the leash. A store surveillance camera captured the robbery, including the victim sliding across the sidewalk during the struggle with Castrejon, authorities said. The defendant got into a truck with the dog and sped away.
The Sheriff’s Department gang unit, Operation Safe Streets Bureau, launched a robbery investigation. Detectives Glen Eads and Gerhaldt Groenow quickly investigated, identified, and arrested Castrejon the day after the robbery. The puppy was recovered and reunited with the girl.
Castrejon was released from custody on bail while waiting for his arraignment and further court proceedings, but while out, he was arrested for a firearm violation in San Bernardino County. His bail was revoked and in late November 2011, he stood trail for the robbery.
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