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Gang member sentenced to six years for stealing girl's puppy

February 7, 2012 | 10:52 am

Nearly two years ago, a 9-year-old girl was standing outside a market in the City of Industry with her new puppy, Mia, while her uncle was inside buying a pink collar.

Then a man snuck up behind her, grabbed the dog and ran, dragging the girl who still held on to the dog's leash, sheriff's officials said.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department said Monday the man, Jose Castrejon, 26, was sentenced earlier this month to six years in state prison for the robbery.

Surveillance video from the April 7, 2010, incident showed Castrejon, a member of the Bassett Grande gang, grabbing the pit bull puppy by the neck and the girl being pulled down the sidewalk by the leash.

She soon let go and was not harmed. The next day, sheriff's officials said, Castrejon was arrested and Mia was returned to the girl.

Castrejon was later released on bail while awaiting arraignment but was arrested again for a firearm violation in San Bernardino County. His bail was revoked.

His trial for the robbery began in November in Pomona Superior Court, and he was sentenced Wednesday.


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-- Rick Rojas