Police Arrests Man Suspected of Stealing Car, Killing Disabled Dog

Paula Liu
By Paula Liu
October 10, 2019USshare
Police Arrests Man Suspected of Stealing Car, Killing Disabled Dog
Police tape in a file photo. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Police have arrested a man who is suspected of stealing a car and killing a disabled dog on Oct. 9, according to multiple reports.

Fox 13 News reported that Jephthe Jean Francois, a 19-year-old male, has been arrested on a total of 15 charges—some of which include car theft and animal abuse. According to WSVN, Francois had stolen the car outside the Dollar Tree located in Oakland Park on Oct. 3. At the time of the theft the disabled husky had been inside the car.

When the police found the car days later at an apartment complex in Sunrise, the disabled husky named Zorra, was found dead in the back seat, WSVN reported. It is unsure what caused the dog’s death, but according to investigators, they believe it may have been heatstroke, Fox 13 News reported. While Zorra was normally in her tiny wheelchair supporting her hind legs, when investigators found Zorra, she was only lying on a pillow in the backseat, not in her wheelchair.

The car belonged to Wanda Ferrari, who at the time of the theft had left her dog in the car with the air conditioner on while she made a trip to the Dollar Tree, Fox 13 News reported. WSVN reported that she had parked her car in the handicapped slot.

In the surveillance video, Francois was seen entering Ferrari’s vehicle by opening the car door and driving off with the car.

When Ferrari came back from the store, she found both her dog and her car gone.

“I just don’t understand. I don’t understand why they didn’t just put her out of the car. I don’t understand it,” Ferrari said at the time, according to WSVN. “He stole the vehicle. He discarded the vehicle leaving this dog stranded to its own devices.”

According to the news outlet, Ferrari had rescued Zorra, and the husky had been with her through numerous hardships in her life.

“She was with me with my first battle with breast cancer and I was hoping she’d be there for the second. She’s my rock. She’s my heart. I rescued her and then she rescued me and I really need her now,” Ferrari said, regarding her pet husky.

Francois was caught when police captured him for a different crime and noticed numerous items that were reported stolen. One of the stolen items happened to be the key to Ferrari’s 2005 Volvo station wagon, according to Fox 13 News.

Francois had been wearing a GPS tracking device at the time of the burglary and car theft, so police were able to easily confirm his location via GPS tracking, according to the news outlet.

He will be appearing in court on Oct. 10.

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