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Teen admits stealing SUV with dog inside, leaving it to die

The 16-year-old was charged with both vehicle theft and mistreatment of animals in the incident, which ended in the death of a German Shepherd-Husky mix named GoGo.
Credit: St. Paul Police
GoGo the dog was inside a vehicle that was stolen during a hot July week in St. Paul. The dog was later found dead of heatstroke, and now a teen has pleaded guilty in the case.

ST PAUL, Minn. — A 16-year-old boy has pleaded guilty in an auto theft case that ended in the death of a dog who was inside. 

Court documents show the teen admitted his guilt in two criminal counts, one of auto theft and one of mistreatment of animals. 

A criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County Juvenile Court details the case, which began the afternoon of July 24. St. Paul Police squads were dispatched around 4:45 p.m. on reports of a vehicle stolen from outside Hamburguesa El Gordo on Sims Avenue. The owner told officers she left her car, a 2015 Subaru Ouback, running with the air conditioner on because her dog, a German Shepherd-Husky mix named GoGo, was inside. 

On July 27 a witness reported seeing the vehicle parked on the 1000 block of Ryde Street in St. Paul, about four miles from where it was stolen. The dog was found dead inside the car. A necropsy determined GoGo died of heatstroke, as temperatures were in the 90s that week. 

Investigators processed the vehicle and recovered a fingerprint that led them to the juvenile. At first he denied stealing the vehicle or ever seeing the dog before, but later admitted his guilt. 

KARE 11 does not name juvenile defendants unless they have been petitioned into adult court. 

The teen is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 14 following a pre-sentencing investigation. The criminal complaint notes the 16-year-old previously pleaded guilty to auto theft in 2020, and has current warrants out for his arrest in both Hennepin and Washington County relating to motor vehicle theft cases. 

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