Arrest Made in Stolen Pit Bull Case

By Eric Rich
|  Thursday, May 13, 2010  |  Updated 5:15 PM PDT
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Pit Bull Sprung From Doggie Death Row at Last Minute

Dognapped in the nick of time

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Pit Bull Sprung From Doggie Death Row at Last Minute

Someone used bolt cutters to get through a fence and broke the latch securing Max's cage to free the dangerous dog from the Alameda Animal Shelter just hours before the he was to be put down.
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Alameda police have announced the arrest the owner of a pit bull that was stolen from an animal shelter just hours before it was scheduled to be euthanized.

Police say Richard Cochran, 57, has admitted to carrying out a plan to steal the dog along with his girlfriend and two other people.

The dog, named Max, was order to be put down after he bit a veterinary worker back in January.  Max bit another man two months later. Those two cases caused a Superior Court commissioner to order him put to death on Tuesday.

Police say they discovered the pit bull was missing from his cage early Wednesday morning.  They say someone broke into the animal shelter and used bolt cutters to free the dog.  A  surveillance camera captured the incident and police say that helped cracked the case.

Cochran is now facing burglary and conspiracy charges.

Police say they are also looking for Cochran's girlfriend, 38-year-old Melissa Perry.   

Max is still missing.  Investigators say they don't know where he is but say he may have been taken out of state.

Alameda police Lt. Bill Scott said this is the first time in his 28 years with the department that he's heard of anybody breaking into the shelter to take an animal.

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