This month, Florida’s Orange County Sheriff’s Office revealed that they had discovered a so-called “puppy chop shop,” which involved a ring of criminals who were stealing dogs, and then removing their microchips, and replacing them with blank chips that could not be traced. As reported by ABC 7 News, the puppy theft ring was uncovered after a French bulldog named Bugsy was stolen.
During the search for Bugsy, who was stolen at gunpoint from his owner, the authorities discovered a state-wide theft ring that involved numerous puppies who had been stolen from pet shops, and the “chop shop,” inside of an Orange County residence. The authorities identified Ronnie Baker and Quantavious Williams as the men who stole the dogs, and Bobby Rivera as the man who cut the microchips from their bodies. The sheriff’s office said that Rivera would put a new, blank microchip in after the legitimate microchip was removed – the new chips made the dogs untraceable.
The authorities found several dogs, in “squalid conditions,” inside of the home, but the stolen French bulldog that set the wheels in motion for cracking the case was nowhere to be found. The detectives began piecing things together, and following leads on social media until finally, Bugsy was located – six months after he was stolen. On November 5, the sheriff’s office alerted social media followers, writing:
STOLEN DOG RECOVERED: Bugsy, a French Bulldog taken at gunpoint in March, has been found and returned to his owner. While investigating the robbery, OCSO detectives discovered a dark world of puppy trafficking and a man who would remove microchips from stolen dogs.
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