Police: Chesterfield Cruella de Vil Was Behind Maltese Puppy Thefts in Missouri, Illinois

Categories: Crime

hess.jpg
Shelly Hess, 50, of Chesterfield earns her nickname stealing dogs and wearing fur.
Shelly Hess tried to get out of trouble for smuggling three expensive puppies from pet stores by purchasing one she'd previously stolen and confessing to the manager.

It didn't work.

Hess, 50, of Chesterfield, was charged with one count of theft by the St. Charles County prosecuting attorney Monday. The puppies are safe after a mysterious Good Samaritan anonymously returned them in November.

See also: Mysterious Good Samaritan Returns Stolen Maltese Puppies to Lake St. Louis Petland

Hess stole puppies from Petland stores in Lake St. Louis, as well as in Naperville and Bolingbrook, Illinois. Her penchant for fur-covered coats and vests earned Hess the nickname "Cruella de Vil" when employees at the Lake St. Louis store caught her on the security cameras nabbing a puppy.

"She's got a white-fur thing -- very 101 Dalmatians," Petland co-owner Tom Killmade tells Daily RFT. "We were thinking terrible things because she was stealing so many."

Hess was caught on security camera at the stores and on Illinois Toll Booth records, according to Lake St. Louis Police.

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Petland
One of the stolen puppies.
Two weeks after she stole the three puppies, she returned to Illinois to buy two more -- including one she'd previously taken. She then called the Naperville store to confess her kleptomaniac ways, saying she hoped she'd made up for the crime with her purchase.

The Maltese puppy she stole from lake St. Louis was worth nearly $1,700, police said.

Continue reading for the probable-cause statement from the prosecuting attorney's office.

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51 comments
Jason M Parker
Jason M Parker

Maltese are not worth 1700. No matter how supposedly pure bread the puppy mill that produces them claims

Dustin Triplett
Dustin Triplett

I'm actually surprised by how much she resembles Cruella de Vil.

Suzette Eich
Suzette Eich

Really? This is what she wanted! Please! Any romantic valentine story?

Amanda Erskine
Amanda Erskine

Pretty sure she is 50. If not, she needs to stay the hell away from the tanning bed!

Lisa Foehner
Lisa Foehner

Is she 30 or 50? Typo in first few sentences.

sam_colt
sam_colt

I knew her 25 years ago and she would brag that she stole all her clothes. She was known as crazy Shelly. I could not stand her.

Amanda Lee Venezia
Amanda Lee Venezia

Think the 30 is a typo. It says she's 50 in a subsequent paragraph.

Melissa Feist Eversole
Melissa Feist Eversole

Ok whatever, this crazy lady is stealing puppies from pet stores. How about addressing the real crime: the puppy mills these puppies come from.

Jan Miller
Jan Miller

People NEVER buy a puppy from a pet store, Petland gets their puppies from puppy mills that's a fact.

Charlie Cochran
Charlie Cochran

She is 50!!!!! Where are you getting 30? This woman is pure evil, she needs to be put down.

Sharon Spirz Carlson
Sharon Spirz Carlson

This is a true example of the customer NOT being right!!! How many times did we bend over backwards for this loon!!!!

Carolyn Peters
Carolyn Peters

Right??!!! Sharon Spirz Carlson Kelly was texting Tom and Tony about it!! SOOO crazy!!

Jeff Wade
Jeff Wade

She strange but Im scared of her.

Sharon Spirz Carlson
Sharon Spirz Carlson

WOW Carolyn Peters!!!! Our suspicions confirmed!!! WOW! WOW! WOW!!!!!!!! I about fell off of the couch!

Jonny Roberts Belfield
Jonny Roberts Belfield

My concern is where did the pet stores get the puppies? Puppy mill? Dont buy from pet stores as they propogate puppy mills

Carolyn Peters
Carolyn Peters

If you asked most major retailers in chesterfield valley commons if they've been personally victimized by Shelly Hess, I guarantee you would get an array of stories. I personally have waited on this woman during one of her pain pill high shopping binges (she admitted) where she buys $$$ and then returns it all the next day with whatever else she found in her car. Finally, someone got her. Crazy.

Ashley Diane LaHue-Brown
Ashley Diane LaHue-Brown

I know she stole puppies but i doubt she stole them for skinning. So i dont think the cruella de ville reference works for this article

Beth Cotter
Beth Cotter

Funny...we just had a discussion at work about what we thought her age was. It was unanimous....she's not 30.

mandyoramanda
mandyoramanda

According to the criminal complaint, she's 50. Not 30.

Ashley Hughes
Ashley Hughes

Her DOB is clearly listed as 1963. RFT just can't proofread.

Andycrossett
Andycrossett

Sounds like this woman needs help.  Hope she gets the help she needs.

Justin Wagner
Justin Wagner

You can always tell a woman's age by her elbows

Tori Devore
Tori Devore

And I was about to make a comment that she's definitely not 30... :)

Bill Long
Bill Long

HAHA! I just said the same thing when I posted it to my wall. NO WAY she's only 30. No way. Her alias is 30. Sure.

Jason Shearer
Jason Shearer

Yes, I concur, there is absolutely zero chance she is 30

Pwnzorrz
Pwnzorrz

30 yeah, right.  In Pujols years.


MusicDaddy
MusicDaddy

Whoa, she's only 30!?!  The life of stealing dogs has not been kind to her.

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