Man convicted of stealing pet husky sentenced to 1 year in prison

A judge throws the book at a man convicted of dog-napping a family pet outside a grocery store in Bloomfield Township.

Joseph Benson of Clarkston apologized as he was sentenced to a year in the Oakland County jail for stealing a 10-month old husky named Kodi.

"I'm sorry for my actions," Benson said in court Thursday.

Kodi was stolen mid-December, from  outside the entrance of Kroger in Bloomfield Township. Witnesses say Benson took Kodi from a post where he was tied while his owner was shopping.

Kodi's owner, relieved to have Kodi safely back home, had words for Benson in court.

"For anyone that's owned a dog,  understands quickly that they become a part of the family," said Chris Barnett, Kodi's owner. "Kodi is certainly a member of our family. It was extremely upsetting on the night he was stolen to our family. Not knowing if he's being taken care of or if we would ever see him again."

Benson, who has history of criminal convictions including theft and drug use, had pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor larceny charge. Police say they tracked Kodi to Benson's home through a tip on Facebook.

Investigators believe Benson wanted to keep Kodi as his pet.

"I'm sorry to the dog owners for my actions," Benson said in court. "I'm sorry for any heart ache I caused you."

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