Suspect accused of stealing puppies arrested

Local News

PEORIA COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — Another suspect is in custody after puppies were stolen from a home on Lancaster Road earlier this month.

Lester Hoots, 65, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with residential burglary from the incident. Four malamute puppies were taken from a home and returned to the owner, Nathaniel Bartell.

Hoots had previously spoken to WMBD when he was accused as a suspect, saying he was only trying to rescue the puppies, claiming that Bartell runs a puppy mill. Bartell has denied that allegation.

Also taken into custody on Tuesday was 37-year-old William (Brian) Miller, who is also charged with residential burglary.

Another suspect, 37-year-old Robert Rook of Farmington, was taken into custody on Saturday.

Rook mentioned that he, Hoots, Miller, and Kenny Harbuckle had planned to take the dogs.

This story will be updated.

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