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Woodbridge man says his French bulldog was taken, is being held for ransom

N.J. dog owner says French bulldog is being held for ransom
N.J. dog owner says French bulldog is being held for ransom 02:05

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. -- A New Jersey dog owner says his French bulldog is being held for ransom.

Xavier Burgos says his 5-month-old puppy, Enzo, was taken after he arranged a doggy playdate with an acquaintance at a park in the Sewaren section of Woodbridge.

"My girlfriend loved the dog. My family's loved the dog. It's just, it's been devastating to all of us," he said.

Burgos says after the suspect stole Enzo, he sent text messages demanding ransom money along with video of Enzo looking scared in the back seat of a car.

"If I didn't pay him $8,000 for my dog back, he was going to ship my dog out to another state or he was going to either murder it," he said.

In one text, the suspect wrote, "I swear any funny biz I'll kill ya fluffy."

"I feel he's been plotting this for a while," Burgos said.

Burgos says he trusted the suspect because the two had exchanged dog photos and hung out before, and he didn't think anything of the dog park rendezvous.

But Burgos says when he arrived at the park, the suspect sent another man with a French bulldog and claimed his dog was at an apartment complex where they all ended up meeting and playing with the dogs in the parking lot.

"I go back inside my car to tell my girlfriend what he had just told me, and by the time I go back outside of my car, he had already snatched my dog, put him in the car and drove off," Burgos said.

We are not identifying the suspect but spoke to his grandfather.

"I don't even see him. I just talk to my son," he said.

"What does your son say?" CBS2's Christine Sloan asked.

"He don't say much 'cause he said he don't talk to him that much about things either," the grandfather said.

Police say the suspect's family is trying to convince him to give up Enzo.

"You have an idea of who the suspect is, right?" Sloan asked Woodbridge Chief Law Enforcement Officer Bob Brady.

"We do. We have an idea. It's being investigated as we speak," he said.

"I hope you feel remorseful for what you've done, and when you are caught and prosecuted, you are going to have to do some thinking, my friend," Burgos said.

Police say the suspect can be charged with theft and extortion.

Police say Enzo's owner, who plans on offering a reward, was meeting up with the suspect to discuss future breeding.

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