A South Gate mother and a daughter pleaded no contest to pushing a 73-year-old man to the ground and stealing his stepdaughter’s dog, Chewie, as he was walking in Long Beach in April.
Erika Juarez Trujillo, 24, and Patricia Juarez, 50, entered the plea to one misdemeanor count each of petty theft, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. Judge Daniel Lowenthal sentenced them both to three years’ probation, 30 days of community labor, modified animal neglect classes and an online animal cruelty course. He also ordered them to stay 100-yards away from the incident’s location, near Eighth Street and Molino Avenue.
The women were originally charged in May with second-degree robbery and elder abuse, both felonies.
Chewie’s owner, Ana Licea, said in April she would bring her 3-year-old Maltese-Yorkie dog to her parents house when she had to work long shifts as a nurse. She said her stepdad was taking Chewie for a walk on April 5 when two women drove past, made a U-turn and stopped the car. The passenger approached and said “What a cute dog you have,” before pushing the stepdad to the ground, taking the dog and driving away, Licea said.
Police were able to use home surveillance footage from the area to get the license plate of the car and track it down at a home in South Gate. With a search warrant, they found the dog inside the home in a box with a blanket, police said. A microchip scanner confirmed the dog was Chewie and he was reunited with Licea the day after he was stolen.