Jail, counseling for woman who stole dog
BY BILL BIRD firstname.lastname@example.org May 18, 2013 4:28PM
Brandie M. Walker
Updated: May 21, 2013 3:17PM
A 21-year-old woman from Aurora has been sentenced to jail and ordered to undergo counseling, after being convicted of stealing a puppy last fall from a pet shop on Naperville’s far west side.
DuPage County Circuit Court Judge John J. Kinsella sentenced the woman, Brandie M. Walker, to 30 days in jail for the Nov. 2 theft from the Petland store at 720 S. Route 59.
Walker pleaded guilty to a felony charge of retail theft of merchandise exceeding $300, according to court records. The stolen and quickly recovered puppy — a French bulldog named Fiona — was valued at $2,800.
Court records indicated Walker spent 15 days in DuPage County Jail following her arrest. With day for day credit for good behavior, she has already completed her jail term and has been released.
A second count of retail theft was dismissed in exchange for Walker’s plea. In addition to the jail time, Kinsella on Thursday placed Walker on two years of probation and ordered her to undergo an unspecified type of counseling, records showed.
An identical sentence that Walker will serve concurrent with the Petland matter was also imposed Thursday for an October misdemeanor theft she committed at a business on the 1300 block of Aurora Avenue in Naperville, according to records. Details of that crime could not be immediately learned.
Walker most recently lived on the 2600 block of Stonybrook Lane in Aurora. She entered the shop that night, asked to cuddle and play with Fiona and eventually hid the puppy in her hoodie before leaving the store.
Naperville police soon caught a break in the case, after Petland owners Mike Isaac and Adam Stachowiak posted surveillance videotape images on the shop’s website.
“We had a caller call our police department and they said, ‘Hey, I know this girl,’” police spokesman Sgt. Lou Cammiso said in November.
The caller provided Walker’s name and police phoned her house, reaching her mother. Stachowiak said around 2 p.m. the next day, Walker “entered the store with her mom and the puppy, and handed it over to staff, and then left the store and waited in her car.”
Stachowiak said Walker’s mother asked to speak to him about the possibility of not pressing charges against her daughter. Stachowiak denied the request.
Fiona had been fitted with a microchip. Stachowiak, following Fiona’s return, said she was “great, doing fine and happy as could be.”
Shoplifters since March 2008 have stolen two puppies and six exotic birds from the store, located opposite the Westfield Fox Valley shopping center in Aurora. Two former employees and a friend that month took a 2-month-old Pomeranian puppy.
A Naperville man now serving a federal prison sentence following a shootout with authorities in Indiana was charged in the Jan. 19, 2010 theft of a 7-month-old female macaw. Another man was later convicted of the May 27, 2010 theft of another macaw.
Two men and two women were accused of the Aug. 31, 2010 theft of a rose-breasted cockatoo. They were ultimately convicted of stealing exotic animals from pet shops in Bolingbrook, Batavia and St. Charles.
Another theft occurred Dec. 2, 2010, when a man who was accompanied by a woman and two preschool-age children stole a yellow shoulder Amazon parrot and two white-bellied caiques. Stachowiak said the man apparently smuggled the birds out of the store one at a time inside his coat.
Nearly all of the animals were recovered in good health and returned to their respective stores.