The following is a press release from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office:
Since March 24, investigators with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office have been searching for the man responsible for breaking into and stealing two boxer puppies from the Humane Society of the Nature Coast.
The suspect was caught on video surveillance as he took the six-month-old puppies from the shelter.
A day later, the puppies were dropped off at the shelter’s front gate prior to opening.
On Wednesday, the man responsible for committing the burglary, Brandon Hand W/M DOB/3-26-89, turned himself in at the Hernando County Detention Facility knowing there was a warrant issued for his arrest.
Hand was taken into custody without incident.
During questioning, Hand told detectives he was doing laundry at a laundromat near the area of U.S. 41 and Wiscon Road with his girlfriend around 4 a.m. on March 24 when he decided to go for a walk to clear his head due to ongoing family problems.
Hand said as he walked by the Humane Society he heard some dogs barking and decided to scale the fence to check on the dogs.
Hand told detectives that he saw a full-size dog and several puppies in a kennel that he believed was too small for the dogs.
He also claimed the kennel was dirty.
Hand said he took the puppies because he wanted to give them a good home. Once he had the puppies Hand said he walked back to the laundromat where he then told his girlfriend that a friend had given him the puppies.
Hand then took the puppies to his home in Brooksville.
He said the following day he awoke to find his girlfriend had returned the puppies to the shelter after seeing a picture of him taking the puppies from the shelter posted on Facebook.
When Hand learned the authorities were looking for him, he told detectives he became scared and decided to leave the county, and only returned recently to turn himself in.
Hand was charged with one count of Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure. His bond was set at $5,000.
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