French Bulldog Stolen at Gunpoint In Castro Valley; Thieves Return Later To Steal Car
CASTRO VALLEY (CBS SF) -- Authorities in the East Bay are investigating the armed robbery of two women in Castro Valley Saturday where suspects stole a purse, housekeys and a pet French Bulldog and later took one of the victims' car from her home.
According to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, on Saturday afternoon at about 5:30 p.m., a woman and her adult daughter were walking their 15-month-old French Bulldog named Tito in Castro Valley when they were suddenly attacked.
A black SUV, a 2019 Kia Niro, pulled over in front of the two women as they were walking westbound on Norbridge Road.
The daughter said approximately 4-5 people exited the vehicle and approached her; three of the suspects were armed with handguns. One suspect snatched her purse, which contained her wallet along with her house and car keys.
Authorities said another suspect snatched the dog from the daughter before all suspects fled in the SUV, travelling westbound on Norbridge Road.
"I guess they had double parked their car on Norbridge, and they ran up on us screaming 'give me the dog,' and holding guns and one of them got to me first, and held the gun to me," said the adult daughter, who declined to give her name for safety reasons.
"I think he saw my purse - it was crossbody around my body and then he started attacking me and struggling - fighting me for my purse and ran off with my purse," added the daughter.
About 9:45 p.m., the sheriff's office said the suspects arrived at the victims' Castro Valley residence in the SUV and stole the woman's 2019 Mercedes C63 from her driveway.
"I just want my dog back ... I want my dog back safely and I just want them to stop terrorizing my family - just leave us alone," said the daughter.
The family announced a $5,000 reward for the safe return of Tito on Instagram.
Authorities said the Kia is a vehicle that has been reported as stolen by the Oakland Police Department, and has also been involved in several armed robberies.
Sheriff's deputies canvassed the area and retrieved video footage from locations nearby and are continuing their investigation into the robbery. The sheriff's office said detectives are currently working to identify the suspects and safely recover the dog.
This incident is only the most recent in a series of recent thefts involving French Bulldogs, targeted in recent years because they can be sold for thousands of dollars.
READ MORE: French Bulldog Stolen at Gunpoint Leaves Owner Heartbroken
Oakland resident Rita Warda was walking her French Bulldog Dezzie near Park View Terrace and Montecito Ave. in Oakland just before 8 p.m. on Thursday when she was targeted by armed thieves.
Oakland Police confirmed it was investigating the armed robbery of a pet in the area and that the gunman left the area in a vehicle.
"I heard about it and I was on edge and it was a fear of mine," Warda said about the recent crimes involving French bulldogs. "I never understood until I have [a dog] but the thieves think it's like stealing a purse, it's not like that at all."
These incidents come two weeks after a French bulldog was violently snatched from her owner in San Francisco's Marina District on New Year's Day. The dog was recovered two days later in Sacramento when a person who purchased the dog called police after seeing reports on television.
No arrests have been made in that case, although the suspect vehicle was found in San Pablo driven by a man who was determined not to be the robbery suspect.
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