Two New Brunswick Residents Charged In Theft Of ‘Pepper,’ Jewelry And Electronics


Pepper the Schnoodle is safe at home.
Photo: Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

A Somerset veterinary clinic helped police capture two people now charged with the theft of a township resident’s pet dog, as well as jewelry and electronics.

Charly J. Garcia, 20, and Michele Andrade, 19, both of New Brunswick, face multiple charges for the alleged theft of “Pepper,” a Schnauzer/Poodle mix, from her Hunt Road home on June 24, according to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

After the dog’s theft was reported, police alerted local veterinarians and animal shelters as well as local and regional media, of the missing dog, according to the release. On June 27, police said, the two defendants contacted the Cedar Lane Animal Clinic on Easton Avenue and told them they had found Pepper and they were going to bring her in.

Clinic staff then contacted police, who were waiting for the couple when they arrived and questioned them at the clinic and at Franklin police headquarters, according to the release. Garcia gave police permission to search his 2002 Honda Accord, in which was found items stolen from the Hunt Road home, police said.

Aside from Pepper, the resident reported that a laptop computer, an Apple iPad and various pieces of jewelry – all valued at $13,900 – were stolen, police said.

Garcia and Andrade were each charged with 3rd Degree Burglary, 3rd Degree Theft of Property and 3rd Degree Theft of a Domestic Companion Animal.

Andrade was released on her own recognizance, while Garcia’s bail was set at $20,000 cash only. Court records show Garcia bonded out on June 28.


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