SAN LORENZO (KPIX 5) -- While the violent and brazen theft of Lady Gaga's three French Bulldogs that left her dog walker hospitalized with gunshot wounds made headlines last week, the popular breed has been the focus of crime in the Bay Area for some time.
But one lucky dog that went missing from his San Lorenzo home early last month is now back with his East Bay family after being found 600 miles away in Mexico.
The Campbell family has owned Brody the French Bulldog since he was a puppy.
"He's been my baby for four years. I don't go anywhere without him," said his owner.
When Brody wandered out of an open front door on February 3rd, the family started posting missing dog photos all over the internet.
He was lost for three weeks, but what could have been a tragic story had a surprise happy ending.
"By a long, strange, miraculous chain of events, we have him back," said another Campbell family member.
Last Friday, the family got a phone call from Benjamin Gonzalez in Tijuana.
"Chappo means 'Shorty' in Spanish, so I named him Chappo," said Gonzaelz.
Gonzalez had purchased the dog from a street vendor for $1,000. He was hoping to breed the dog.
"Try to make a little bit of money, you know? Life is hard out here in Tijuana," explained Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was deported to Mexico two years ago after spending 14 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter after living his entire life in the United States.
"I took the wrong path. I made mistakes, and I'm paying for my mistakes now," he said.
Gonzalez had the dog about two weeks when a family member who lives in the east bay texted him a screenshot of a lost dog that looked identical.
"Just having him here at my house, and just looking at how he was acting, he was real sad," said Gonzalez. "I can relate to him. He's out here no family,
I'm out here no family. If he can go back, I just wanted to take him back home."
Gonzalez called the Campbell family and confirmed the dog was indeed Brody.
"He never asked for a reward, He never mentioned money. He just wanted to do the right thing," said Brody's owner.
The reunion was caught on cell phone video. After three weeks, Brody was back with his long lost family who will always be thankful to that stranger down in Tijuana.
Brody was bred in Mexico, where it's common for dogs to have tattoos to identify them. That helped his family confirm it was him.
But it's still a mystery how he ended up in Tijuana.
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