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Humane Society of the Nature Coast dog thefts end in guilty plea, a year in county jail

BROOKSVILLE — A Brooksville man arrested for breaking into the Humane Society of the Nature Coast and stealing several dogs in August has been sentenced to a year in the county jail.

According to the State Attorney's Office, Juan Claudio, 26, pleaded guilty to the Aug. 19 burglary and theft of several dogs at the shelter. He was sentenced Tuesday.

Claudio was arrested along with another suspect, Jose Navarro, 20, several days after two small-breed dogs and three puppies were discovered missing from the facility on Wiscon and Mobley roads.

The suspects went over the shelter's fence after dark and took the dogs from their unlocked cages, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Claudio later told deputies they took the dogs to sell because Navarro owed a man some money. Deputies later retrieved four of the dogs from a nearby home. The fifth dog was found dead on Wiscon Road, apparently the result of being hit by a car.

Navarro reached a plea agreement earlier this month and was sentenced to two years of probation.

Humane Society of the Nature Coast dog thefts end in guilty plea, a year in county jail 10/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 9:01pm]

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