DOCUMENT: Animals, Crime

Cops: Pair Sold Neighbor's Lost Dog On Craigslist

Busted couple's son, 5, dimed them out to police


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Neighbor's Dog Sold

SEPTEMBER 19--A Pennsylvania couple who found a neighbor’s lost puppy is facing criminal charges after they allegedly opted to sell the dog for $50 on Craigslist instead of returning the pooch to its owner, police allege.

The six-month-old Rottweiler puppy (and a second dog) appeared earlier this month at the Leechburg home of Scott and Roxanne Duff, according to a probable cause affidavit. Roxanne Duff, 38, called cops since she “was unsure what she had to do with the dogs,” adding that the puppy “had taken off again and did not return to her residence.”

Later that night, Shawn Lerch, owner of the two dogs, informed cops that Duff returned his golden retriever, but that the puppy, named Bailey, was still missing.

Lerch told cops that he believed the dog (seen above) was still as the Duff residence. In a Facebook post, Lerch wrote that the missing dog “is very important to our family. Mostly our daughter so if u see her please get hold of me. And if u have her and return her today i will not press charges.”

But when cops spoke with Scott Duff, 41, he denied the puppy was there, and asked cops “to have Mr. Lerch stop calling him because they did not have the dog.”

Lerch, however, persisted. He called police the following day to again allege that his puppy was at the Duff home. Leechburg Police Department Chief Michael Diebold responded to the Duff residence, but found only the couple’s five-year-old son and a babysitter home.

When he asked if the duo had seen the missing puppy, “The child stated to the Chief that his mommy had given the dog to a woman from the internet.”

When confronted by Diebold, Scott Duff initially stuck to his story about the puppy escaping his residence. “The Chief pointed out that the five year old child has no reason to lie to the police,” according to the affidavit.

Duff and his wife subsequently came clean, with Roxanne admitting to “placing the dog on craigs list.” Both Duffs admitted to lying to cops about the scheme.

The sale of Bailey, however, had a happy ending. “Chief Diebold did recover that dog from Roxanne Duff after she went to Pittsburgh to meet the individual she had sold it to,” cops reported.

The Duffs have been charged with theft, conspiracy, and making false reports to law enforcement. (2 page)