Police Say Iowa City Petland is Victim of Theft Again

By Vanessa Miller, Reporter

Petland Thursday, October 5, 2006 in Iowa City.

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By Liz Blood

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Less than a week after a woman was accused of stealing two dogs worth a combined $3,300 from the Iowa City Petland, a former employee has been arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $1,600 from the same store.

Robert Francisco Schick, 21, of Iowa City, was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of felony second-degree theft after he was questioned by police about suspicious purchase records at Petland, 1851 Lower Muscatine Road.

The records showed that in May 2012, Schick began returning items for their full retail price, even though he had never purchased the items, according to a criminal complaint. He then would buy the items using his employee discount, police reported.

Schick, according to police, admitted to returning items that he had never owned or purchased. He told investigators that he had returned items valued at more than a combined $1,600, and he agreed “that the amount of dollar loss to the store would likely be greater than that,” according to the complaint.

Police said it’s difficult to determine the exact amount of the theft. Schick, according to the complaint, apologized to the store’s owners and said he committed the theft “because he wanted more stuff but had outstanding bills due to previous court cases.”

Schick no longer is being held in the Johnson County Jail.

Diana Rae Chance, 45, of Tiffin, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing at least two dogs from the Petland. She was identified after the store released surveillance video footage of the theft.

Chance is accused of entering the store with her young daughter on Feb. 10 and taking a miniature poodle worth $1,800, according to police. Her daughter told investigators that her mom said in February they could get a dog even though they couldn’t afford it.

The daughter told police that she knew her mom was talking about stealing the animal “because they had done it several times in the past at other stores,” according to the complaint.

Upon further investigation, police found evidence that Chance stole a $1,500 Dachshund from the store in September 2012.

Chance faces two felony counts of second-degree theft and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She was released from the Johnson County Jail on Saturday after posting a $10,000 bond.
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