DOWNEY (CBSLA) — An Army veteran is pleading with the person who stole his car with his service dog inside, asking them to return his beloved companion, "no questions asked."
Apolonio E. Muñoz III told CBS2 News he never goes anywhere without his dog Marcee. So when a thief stole his Honda Civic that was parked at the Arco gas station on the 10800 block of Lakewood Boulevard Sunday night, his 10-year-old Staffordshire Terrier mix was taken, too.
"It was shock and then panic because my first reaction is, 'Where's Marcee?'" said Muñoz. "I just completely lost it."
Muñoz said Marcee, who he rescued from a shelter two years ago, was training to be his service dog. She was helping him with his combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Muñoz served in the Iraq War.
"She helps me throughout the day with different things," said Muñoz. "So, if I'm having a bad day, she's there to comfort me to make sure that I'm taken care of and to keep other people away so that way I am able to take care of myself."
In a Facebook post Sunday, the 34-year-old veteran said Marcee has allergies and is on a special diet. He is also worried about her because she has separation anxiety.
When asked what it would be like to have Marcee with him now, Muñoz became emotional.
"It would mean a lot," Muñoz said as he wiped a tear. "Honestly, I don't care about the car, at this point. I just want her."
Marcee is microchipped, but since his phone was in his car when it was stolen, he wouldn't be able to answer the call even if someone did call him to return her.
Muñoz said he hasn't been able to get out of bed since Sunday's incident.
He had a message for the person who took Marcee:
"If someone's willing just to turn her in, no questions asked — at this point, I just want this nightmare to end. I just want Marcee to come home."
Investigators will be looking at security footage from the gas station for clues as to who took Munoz's car.
Anyone with information in this case is urged to call Downey police at (562)861-0771.
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