PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WHTM) – A North Carolina man has been sentenced for an October 2020 gunpoint robbery of five French Bulldog puppies in Lancaster County.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Christopher Lamont Stimpson, Jr., 23, of Greensboro, North Carolina, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison, three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,660 in restitution for the gunpoint puppy theft.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Stimpson Jr. posted as a customer seeking to purchase the puppies when he pulled out a gun, pointed it at the victim, and stole the puppies. The five puppies were worth more than $23,000.

A customer of the breeder who was interested in one of the puppies later recognized one in an Instagram post with a photo of Stimpson Jr.

Stimpson Jr. was charged in November 2020 and arrested in North Carolina a month after. He was convicted in April 2022 of robbery which interferes with interstate commerce (Hobbs Act robbery), and interstate transportation of stolen goods in connection with the robbery.

“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.”

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.