Two young men who allegedly stole purebred puppies from outside the Hemet Valley Mall were charged Monday with robbery.

Menifee residents Sergio Ramirez, 18, and Samuel Ramirez, 20, were arrested last week following a Hemet police investigation that also led to the recovery of the two English bulldogs.

Samuel Ramirez, who posted a $50,000 bond and was released from jail, is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 21.

Sergio Ramirez was unable to meet his $35,000 bond requirement and was arraigned Monday afternoon before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Aug. 8 at the Banning Justice Center. He’s being held at the adjacent Smith Correctional Facility.

According to Hemet police Lt. Eddie Pust, the defendants allegedly snatched the male English bulldogs about 7:20 p.m. July 21 from a woman identified in court documents only as “Sarah,” who was carrying the pedigreed canines — which can fetch up to $4,500 each — in her arms as she headed into the mall parking lot.

The victim was told to hand over the dogs, and when she didn’t, they allegedly shoved her to the ground and wrenched the puppies out of her hands, then fled.

Investigators were able to identify the alleged culprits, who are believed to be related, within three days and took them into custody without incident at the same address in Menifee. However, the duo “refused to provide detectives the whereabouts of the puppies,” Pust said.

Despite the stumbling block, investigators obtained additional information that ultimately revealed the dogs’ location, and the canines were recovered in good health on Thursday, according to the lieutenant.

Sergio Ramirez has no documented prior felony convictions, but Samuel Ramirez is on probation for a first-degree burglary conviction from last year, according to court records.

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