Woman accused of stealing French bulldog 'Mozzy' from downtown business pleads not guilty

Dyan Chavez faces grand theft charge

SAN DIEGO - A woman accused of stealing a French bulldog from a downtown San Diego office building pleaded not guilty in court Friday.

Dyan Chavez, 23, had her wrists shackled to her waist as she entered the arraignment court, her long brown hair shielding her face from a 10News camera.

Chavez pleaded not guilty to a single charge of grand theft of an animal.

Deputy District Attorney Cherie Somerville told the judge Chavez was seen on a surveillance video coaxing the dog named Mozzy to the front door of a downtown business. When the dog stepped outside, Chavez, who was with her mother, took off.

A 10News viewer who saw the surveillance video later recognized the woman and the 2-year old French bulldog, and called police.

"The defendant initially told police officers that the dog was her dog. She had renamed it Jewels," said Somerville, who added that Chavez told police she'd owned the dog for five months.

Somerville explained that Chavez later admitted to a detective that the dog did not belong to her.

"She did indicate that she wanted a puppy. She thought this was meant to be. He was cute and she would take good care of him," Somerville said.

The public defender handling Chavez's case asked the judge to release her on her own recognizance, saying she's a lifelong resident of San Diego, not a flight risk and her crime doesn't indicate she would harm anyone.

Judge Lorna Alksne lowered Chavez's bail to $5,000.

A bail review is scheduled for next week.

If convicted, Chavez could get up to three years behind bars.

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