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Man convicted in puppy-burning case charged in three car thefts

A Buffalo man who served a prison sentence in the 2012 burning of a Jack Russell terrier puppy known as Phoenix has been charged in three stolen car cases from last fall.

Adell Ziegler, 21, is accused of forcibly taking a car from a Canisius College student on Sept. 8 as the student walked to her vehicle in the college’s parking ramp on Jefferson Avenue.

Ziegler and an unknown accomplice allegedly knocked the woman down, grabbed her purse and car keys and drove away. The car was found eight days later on Hamlin Road.

Ziegler faces two counts of second-degree robbery and one count of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property in that case.

He also is charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after police said they found him driving a car that had been stolen Oct. 28 from a woman on North Street between Elmwood and Richmond avenues.

Two other men who were in the car also have been charged.

In the third case, Ziegler is charged with single counts of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and third-degree unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after police said they found him with the keys to a stolen car.

The car was stolen early Nov. 29 from a gas station at East Ferry Street and Jefferson after the driver left the vehicle running while he went into the store. When he came out, the car was gone. It was found eight hours later on Hamlin.

Ziegler, who is in custody, was indicted and arraigned in that case earlier this week in front of State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns.

In the Phoenix case, Ziegler and his nephew, Diondre L. Brown, 19, were arrested Nov. 13, 2012 and charged in the Oct. 29, 2012, burning of the puppy in a yard on Herman Street.

The dog suffered severe burns on 50 percent of his body after the defendants doused him with lighter fluid and set him on fire. The dog eventually was adopted by one of the veterinary technicians who treated him at the Buffalo Small Animal Hospital.

Ziegler pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty and was sentenced to a one-year prison term and another year in prison for a parole violation.

Brown pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and got a six-month jail term and five years’ probation.

Each defendant accused the other of setting the dog on fire.

email: jstaas@buffnews.com