Dog theft suspects get 45 days in jail |

Dog theft suspects get 45 days in jail

A Nevada City-area mother and daughter accused of stealing a pair of show dogs were sentenced Monday to 45 days in jail after pleading no contest in Placer County Superior Court.

Deborah Lynn Finnegan, 47, and Brenna Lynn Finnegan, 20, were also put on three years’ probation and ordered to attend 12 hours of “theft classes” that sensitize students to the impact of crime, said Placer County Deputy District Attorney Doug Van Breeman.

Van Breeman said the Finnegans have the option of seeking alternative sentences in lieu of jail, such as joining a weekend work crew. No fines were imposed, he said.

Deborah Finnegan’s lawyer, Gary Fitzpatrick of Auburn, declined comment.

The owner of the pilfered West Highland white terriers, however, was outraged. Chuck Grimes of Roseville thought the DA’s office should have filed the charges as felonies rather than misdemeanors, an option the office had. He also speculated that a case of cattle theft would have brought more vigorous prosecution.

“I mean, (dogs) are the same value, and you have even more sentiment tied up in an animal that comes into your home,” he said.

Deputy DA Tim Sands, in an earlier interview, said the charges were filed as misdemeanors partly because the dogs were recovered unharmed.

The Finnegans were charged with stealing the little white dogs – 9-year-old male Stormy and 8-month-old female Abby – Nov. 1 from Grimes’ backyard. The dogs, which had a combined value of $5,000, were found at the Finnegans’ home Dec. 5.

No motive was ever mentioned in court, Van Breeman said, but Roseville police had supported Grimes’ theory that the Finnegans had planned to breed the dogs.

Charges against a third Nevada City-area woman, Sally Perrie, 40, were dismissed earlier this month. A fourth suspect in the case, a teen-age Nevada City-area girl, was charged in juvenile court.

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