One of two men who attempted to steal a purebred puppy from a Hemet home and instead ended up briefly abducting one of the dog’s owners was sentenced Wednesday to a year in jail and three years probation.
Alfonso Junior Leos, 21, of La Puente pleaded guilty last month to robbery for trying to snatch the English bulldog puppy from a property in the 2000 block of Janae Way. In exchange for his admission, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped a burglary charge.
Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson certified the terms of the plea agreement and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.
Leos’ cousin, 21-year-old Jorge Leos of Nuevo, also pleaded guilty to robbery in October and was immediately sentenced to three years in state prison.
According to Hemet police Lt. Eddie Pust, the duo made an appointment on Jan. 16 to visit the victims, purportedly to arrange for the purchase of the seniors’ 14-week-old English bulldog. The pedigreed canines can sell for as much as $4,500. The price attached to this puppy was not disclosed.
Pust said the defendants arrived at the Janae Way home about 5 p.m. and played with the dog inside the residence for a few minutes.
As Jorge Leos was holding the dog, he abruptly jumped to his feet and fled from the house with the pup in his arms, Pust said. He said Alfonso Leos then pulled a handgun and leveled it at the couple, “threatening both of them to stay in the house.”
The male resident ignored the order and chased after Jorge Leos, at which point Alfonso Leos ran to a Toyota Camry parked along the curb, preparing to drive away, Pust said.
According to the lieutenant, the man’s wife jumped into the passenger’s seat, apparently to prevent the defendant from leaving. However, Leos threw the Toyota into gear and sped down the street to catch up to his cohort, who was trying to get away from the homeowner, Pust said.
A neighbor heard the commotion and joined the foot chase, prompting Jorge Leos to drop the puppy, according to Pust.
The neighbor retrieved the dog, as the homeowner turned his attention to chasing the Toyota in which his wife was now captive, the lieutenant said. He said Alfonso Leos slowed down, allowing the man to get hold of some part of the car, but the defendant then accelerated, and the man fell to the roadway.
Pust said Leos stopped the sedan in a parking lot a couple of blocks from the house, where Jorge Leos pulled the woman out of the car and got into the front passenger seat. Patrol officers attempted to find the vehicle a few minutes later without success.
The victims, whose names were withheld, suffered scrapes and bruises but did not require hospitalization. The puppy was uninjured.
Pust said Jorge Leos was spotted driving the Toyota on Florida Avenue eight days later, leading to a traffic stop and his arrest after he was positively identified by the victims.
Detectives developed leads pointing to Alfonso Leos as the co- conspirator, and he was located and arrested near his home.
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