PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Christopher Lamont Stimpson, Jr., 24, of Greensboro, North Carolina, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,660 in restitution by United States District Court Judge Edward G. Smith for robbing a Lancaster County puppy breeder and his family at gunpoint in order to steal five French Bulldog puppies in October 2020.
In April 2022, the defendant was convicted of robbery which interferes with interstate commerce (Hobbs Act robbery), and interstate transportation of stolen goods in connection with the robbery. Evidence presented at trial proved that in order to gain access to 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. 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.
“The defendant threatened a family at gunpoint inside their own home in order to greedily and callously steal vulnerable, living creatures,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “ Our Office is committed to prosecuting dangerous, armed criminals, no matter where they may run and hide. We are thankful to our law enforcement partners here in Pennsylvania and in North Carolina for their assistance in bringing Stimpson to justice.”
“This was a frightening armed robbery that saw the victims menaced at gunpoint,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “The fact that puppies were the property taken renders this crime more unusual, but no less serious. Christopher Stimpson made the very bad decision to come to Pennsylvania and take these pups by force, and this sentence holds him accountable for his actions.”
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.