Man Who Stole $85K Worth Of 'Pillow Pets' Sentenced

Danny Ray Wright Pleaded Guilty To Stealing Toys From Oceanside Warehouse

A Carlsbad man who stole $85,000 worth of "Pillow Pet" stuffed animals from a North County warehouse and sold some of them on eBay was sentenced Tuesday to three years probation and ordered to do 15 days of public service work.

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Vista Superior Court Judge Kimberlee Lagotta suspended a 180-day jail term for Danny Ray Wright, which could be imposed should he violate the terms of his probation.

Wright, 42, pleaded guilty last month to grand theft in connection with the theft of at least 3,500 "Pillow Pets" from a commercial warehouse in the 4000 block of Calle Platino in Oceanside.

Police said Wright entered the warehouse through a rear door several times beginning in January and stole boxes full of the toys. He was arrested in July after Oceanside police searched his Bluff Court home and two storage lockers in Oceanside and found some of the stolen toys.

Prosecutor Aimee McLeod said Wright was a friend of the company owner and for a brief time last December was authorized to sell "Pillow Pet" products. Wright's contract was terminated when he failed to pay for items, McLeod said.

Representatives of Carlsbad-based CJ Products, the makers of the animal- shaped Pillow Pets, told prosecutors that they believed Wright sold at least $11,000 of the stuffed animals on eBay.

"I understand that Mr. Wright did not have a gun. He did not harm anybody," Pillow Pets Founder Jennifer Telfer told the court.

Telfer said she did not believe 15 days of community service was enough punishment for someone who she said "raped my company."

Telfer told the court how she struggled to support her family while building C.J. Products, the company that sells Pillow Pets.

"I've opened my dresser drawer and I've dug for change to pay for and put food on the table for my children," Telfer said. "I am not happy with someone like Mr. Wright, someone we actually knew, that felt that he was obligated or entitled to the sweat off my back, that I've worked so hard for, for so long."

Telfer indicated she understood why the judge couldn't change the terms of Wright's plea agreement.

"I really hope he realizes there's other ways you can pay your bills and you don't have to steal from another person," said Telfer.

A restitution review hearing was set for Oct. 29.

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