Ephrata Police investigation leads to Federal Conviction
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 1, 2022
North Carolina Man Convicted by Federal Jury for Gunpoint Robbery of Puppies from Lancaster County Breeder
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Christopher Lamont Stimpson, Jr., 23, of Greensboro, North Carolina, was convicted of committing a gunpoint robbery of a Lancaster County puppy breeder and his family in order to steal five French Bulldog puppies in October 2020.
In November 2020, the defendant was charged by Indictment with robbery which interferes with interstate commerce, and interstate transportation of stolen goods in connection with the robbery. To lure the victims out with the puppies, dogs with a total value of more than $23,000, Stimpson posed as a customer seeking to purchase five French Bulldog puppies, only to pull out a gun, point it at the victims, and steal the animals. One of the victims recorded the registration of the defendant’s getaway vehicle, which was traced back to a rental company in Greensboro, North Carolina. According to court documents, a customer of the breeder who had also been interested in purchasing one of the puppies later discovered an Instagram posting which featured a video and a photograph of the puppies, as well as photographs of Stimpson. In December 2020, the defendant was arrested in North Carolina.
“Stimpson committed armed robbery in order to greedily and callously steal vulnerable, living creatures,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “This conviction demonstrates our Office’s commitment to prosecuting dangerous, armed criminals, no matter where they may run and hide. We are thankful to our partners here in Pennsylvania and in North Carolina for their partnership in bringing Stimpson to justice.”
“Armed robbery is armed robbery, whether the objective is drugs, dollars, or dogs,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Christopher Stimpson traveled quite a ways to terrorize the breeder and his family and take those puppies by force. Let this be a warning to anyone else planning on coming into Pennsylvania to commit a violent crime: the FBI and our partners will track you down wherever you are and see that you’re brought to justice.”
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Ephrata Police Department, and the Greensboro (NC) Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark S. Miller.
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Sergeant Ken Lockhart was the investigating officer and all five (5) puppies were recovered.