'Stolen dog' turns out to be South City man's lost pet; charges dropped 

He’s out of the dog house.

A South San Francisco man was arrested Friday after forcibly stealing a woman’s dog. But prosecutors said Thursday that 47-year-old Genesis Sicat will not face charges because the pooch, a Chihuahua and Pomeranian mix, belonged to him at one point.

Sicat ran off with the woman’s dog as she was walking it on Eucalyptus Avenue at 11:15 a.m. During a struggle with the woman, he took the dog off its leash and fled.

Police initially said the dognapping appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. Sicat ran off with an animal that only appeared to be his, South City police Sgt. Joni Lee had said.

Further investigation proved the dog was in fact Sicat’s lost pet, San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Al Serrato said Thursday. The dog, lost about a year ago, landed in an animal shelter. Its current owner adopted it and nursed it back to health, Serrato said.

After learning this information, prosecutors decided not to pursue charges against Sicat. He has been released from custody, Serrato said.

The robbery charge was dropped since Sicat’s claim that the dog was his is a valid defense, Serrato added.

Prosecutors also dropped the battery charge because his struggle with the woman was “mutual,” Serrato said.

“This was a very unusual case,” he said.

For now, the woman keeps the dog since she legally adopted it, Serrato said. Sicat will have to pursue a civil case if he wants to reclaim it, he said.

Prosecutors did not feel criminal court was the proper venue for a case that appeared to be a misunderstanding and disagreement more than a crime, Serrato said.

“People do get attached with their pets, and he may have felt he needed to do that,” Serrato said. “The bottom line is we want to see disputes resolved in a civil manner.”

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report

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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

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