Gulfport Man Charged with Stealing Dogs
Samuel Vargas, 19, is accused of stealing two dogs from a couple in Sunset Beach and posting them for sale on Facebook.
According to an article in the St. Petersburg Times, Sheri and Scott Traylor's chocolate Labs Cam and Caya went missing one night in late July. The couple found Caya in Gulfport, several miles away from their Sunset Beach home, but Cam was still missing. About a week later, they posted fliers offering a $500 reward.
On July 27, the couple received a phone call from a young man in Gulfport who had Cam, according to the article. Samuel Vargas and his friend Aron Corcoran returned Cam to the Traylors.
Sheri Traylor said she found Vargas' Facebook page, according to the Times, and found a post dated half an hour after her dogs went missing. The post described two grown, female chocolate labs for sale for $150. The Traylors made a copy of the post.
Sheri contacted the Treasure Island Police Department and filed a report. Treasure Island Police then contacted the Gulfport Police Department. On July 28, a Gulfport Police Sergeant went to the Corcoran family's home, where Vargas and his brother live, and checked for veterinary paperwork to verify that the dogs in the home belonged to them. According to Sgt. Robert Burkhart, the papers proved that two different dogs in the home, not the Labs, in fact belonged to the Corcoran household.
Treasure Island Police arrested Vargas on Thursday on charges of grand theft. Vargas posted $500 bail on Friday.
According to the article, Vargas told officials before his arrest that he had rescued the Labs and was trying to find a good home for them.
Correction: A Gulfport Police Sergeant went to the Corcoran family's home. An earlier version of this story had said a Detective went to the home.