Authorities say a Johnstown couple and others forced their way into an Upper Yoder Township home and assaulted 2 victims before stealing a female dog and 5 puppies at knifepoint. Police say Rasheed Taylor and his wife, Lathifya Taylor, are facing multiple charges after allegedly committing the acts. The Millcreek Road couple is charged with robbery, burglary, terroristic threats, theft, and simple assault. Another suspect, Tierra Watts, is facing similar charges as well as theft by unlawful taking.
According to the Affidavit, the couple along with three others reportedly forced their way into a home located on the 2200 block of Franklin Street. It says they stole a female Micro-Bully dog named Mimi and a litter of five puppies, valued at $50,000. Upper Yoder Township Police Chief John Blake says it happened at around 2pm last Thursday. Chief Blake saying: “We also served a Search Warrant, and recovered all 6 dogs, and put them in the custody of the Humane Society until Ownership can be established.”
Officials say one of the robbers waived a knife at the victims, shoving one of them to the ground. Another robber allegedly shoved the Homeowner to the wall and punched them in the jaw. All five suspects reportedly fled the home in a red 2017 Kia station wagon.
Animal Control Officer Kinlee Whited saying: “I was called to bring the dogs to the shelter, so they had proper shelter, food, and water. They were here for about a day. Upper Yoder Police reached out to us, and said that it was okay to give the dogs back to the owner.” Whited says this wouldn’t have been as big of an issue if these dogs weren’t intentionally bred. She says the robbery likely occurred partly because of how expensive the dogs were. Officials saying they can be as much as $10,000 per puppy.
Besides the Taylors and Watts, Police are still waiting to disclose identities for the remaining suspects. Officials say they were arraigned by Judge Michael Zungali and freed on bond.