Virginia Beach Man Faces Breaking and Entering, Larceny, Animal Abuse Charges after Stealing and Killing Neighbor’s Puppy

by J.D. Garrett on November 9, 2013

The act of entering another person’s home, taking property, and then destroying that property may result in a series of separate and very serious criminal charges. Each criminal act has it’s own corresponding punishments, and an offender may end up with a lengthy sentence and criminal record if convicted for all the crimes that occurred in a single criminal incident.

A Virginia Beach resident faces serious criminal charges after allegedly breaking into a neighbor’s home and killing the owner’s puppy. Investigators have identified 22-year-old Dionisio Vicente Salazar as the person responsible for entering the home of Cedrick Alston and taking his 15-month-old boxer puppy. Once outside, Mr. Salazar allegedly slammed the puppy repeatedly into the sidewalk, crushing his skull. Neighbors tried to get the puppy away from Mr. Salazar, but to no avail. Mr. Salazar now faces charges of breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony, animal cruelty, and larceny of an animal. Investigators note that they may add more charges after further investigation.

Virginia Criminal Law

Larceny is a serious offense under Virginia law. While it is not specifically codified by statute, larceny has been developed through Virginia common law. Larceny is basically the taking of another person’s property and depriving that person of his or her property with the intent to do so permanently. There are many crimes that relate to larceny under Virginia criminal laws. One such law relates to the taking of another person’s pet or livestock, otherwise known as the crime of Larceny of Certain Animals and Poultry.

Under Code of Virginia 18.2-97, a person commits larceny of certain animals and poultry when he or she takes another person’s animal with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the animal. The statute is broken up into felonies of two different classes. First, if the offender steals a dog, horse, pony, mule, cow, steer, bull, or calf, he or she is guilty of a Class 5 felony. A Class 5 felony is punishable by between one and ten years in prison or 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500, or both. If the offender steals poultry valued between $5 and $200, or sheep, lamb, swine, or goat valued at less than $200, he or she is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Class 6 felonies may bring with them a term of imprisonment of between one and five years, or 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine, or both.

Larceny is often accompanied by other criminal charges. For example, in this case, Mr. Salazar was also charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony, that is, the felony of larceny. These charges are very seriously prosecuted in Virginia, and a conviction on any one of them would likely result in serious consequences and penalties.

If you have been charged with violating Virginia criminal laws, you should immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the facts of your case and the charges against you, and can help defend you in court. Contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Garrett Law Group, PLC today for a confidential consultation.

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