Crime - Sacto 911

Man arrested in theft of van carrying 14 show dogs; second suspect sought

Redding police have arrested Benjamin Larson, right, in the June 6 theft of a van containing 14 show dogs. Authorities are searching for Billie Jo Patterson, left, in connection with the same incident.
Redding police have arrested Benjamin Larson, right, in the June 6 theft of a van containing 14 show dogs. Authorities are searching for Billie Jo Patterson, left, in connection with the same incident. Redding Police Department

Redding police have arrested one man in connection with the theft of a van containing 14 show dogs that was stolen from an In-N-Out earlier this month and are asking for the public's help in locating another.

A white van carrying the 14 dogs was stolen from the Redding fast food restaurant's parking lot in the early afternoon of June 6 when the van's owner, Tony Carter, stopped in to get lunch on his way to the annual Woofstock dog show in Vallejo. The van was found the next day in south Redding by police.

Benjamin David Larson, 41, was located and arrested Thursday afternoon in connection with the dognapping after being identified during the investigation as one of two suspects seen in a surveillance video obtained by police from the In-N-Out restaurant, according to a Redding Police Department news release.

The other man in the surveillance video is identified by police as Billie Jo Patterson, 28. He is also wanted by police in connection with the incident.

Police say both men are from Redding.

When Carter emerged from In-N-Out Burger on June 6, his van carrying 14 rat terriers, golden Labs, Rottweilers and other show dogs was missing, Redding police reported at the time.

Police say Larson has an extensive criminal history and is being held at the Shasta County jail for the arrest warrant and 14 counts of animal cruelty, along with vehicle theft and possession of stolen property.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Patterson is asked to call Redding police at (530) 225-4200.

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