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Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Man arrested for stealing 2 puppies from adoption center

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies on Friday, August 9 arrested a 20-year-old West Columbia man on charges that man the stole two black puppies from an animal adoption center on Orchard Drive near West Columbia on August 9.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Lester Antonio Mayorga, 20, of 129 Villa Court, West Columbia was arrested on a charges of petit larceny.

An incident report alleges that at about 2:30 p.m. on August 9 Mayorga entered the animal adoption center Pets, Inc. at 300 Orchard Drive and illegally removed two black puppies, Metts said. Mayorga left the animal adoption center without making arrangements to adopt the puppies and pay the adoption fees. Statements from witnesses and surveillance camera video substantiated that Mayorga stole the puppy from the animal adoption center.

The puppies were returned to the Pets, Inc. animal adoption center within a few hours of the incident, Metts said.

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies were able to locate Mayorga at his home on Villa Court by referencing a license plate number of the vehicle that he was driving collected by eyewitnesses at the time of the incident.

Metts asked anyone with information concerning the improper removal of the two puppies from the animal adoption center to contact the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff’s Department web site (


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