After finding up to 100 dead dogs in their home, authorities say 1 suspect posed as a rescue employee to have animals turned over to her.
EVESHAM, NJ — Two Evesham residents at the center of an extensive animal-cruelty probe received additional charges, police said Tuesday. Investigators found that Rebecca Halbach posed as an employee for a local animal rescue, with Brandon Leconey’s help, so that animals would be turned over to her.
Additionally, a woman was charged after stealing items from the pair’s home while they were incarcerated, according to the Evesham Police Department.
Halbach and Leconey were charged last August after authorities said they found up to 100 dead dogs in their home on 680 E Main St. Officials also discovered a child and more than a dozen animals living in “extremely poor conditions,” police said Aug. 29.
The pair received additional charges Oct. 4 after authorities found they coordinated to tell people that Halbach worked for an animal rescue. She was presumably facilitating adoptions and the care of animals, police said. However, Halbach wasn’t an employee or volunteer with the specified animal rescue, according to law enforcement.
Halbach failed to provide proper adoption or care for the animals turned over to her, authorities said. She was compensated more than $7,000 through these offenses, according to police.
Halback was charged with theft by deception (second-degree) and computer crimes (third-degree). Leconey was charged with conspiracy to commit computer crimes (second-degree) and conspiracy to commit theft by deception (third-degree).
Officials placed them both in Burlington County Jail again, pending a first court appearance.
The pair was charged in August with endangering the welfare of a child (second-degree) and animal cruelty (third-degree). Authorities said they’d receive additional animal-cruelty charges once authorities determine the number of dogs harmed.
Woman Burglarized Their Home: Police
During the investigation, detectives also discovered that the home of Halbach and Leconey had been burglarized while they were incarcerated. They identified Kelli Bowen as the suspect.
Bowen entered the home without the owners’ permission and took items that belonged to Halbach and Leconey, police said. Authorities say they found evidence of the burglary and theft after executing a search warrant on Bowen’s West Berlin home.
Bowen was charged with burglary (third-degree), trespassing (fourth-degree) and theft (disorderly persons offense). She was released on a summons, pending an initial court appearance.