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'We Just Want Him Back': French Bulldog Stolen at Gunpoint in Oakland

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Hannah Nelson held back tears, speaking about her almost 2-year-old Frenchie Merlyn, who she says was stolen at gunpoint on Saturday.

Nelson was out of town for Thanksgiving, so her friend Marieka Bayens took him for a walk, just after 6 p.m. at 24th and Valdez Streets in Oakland.

"All of a sudden these two men came out from nowhere," Bayens said. "One approached me basically straight on, pointed a gun at my face, and said give me the dog, and the other one grabbed Merlyn."

She said the two men hopped in a car and sped off going the wrong way down a one-way street toward Whole Foods.

"I think it was really just immense shock that it happened," Bayens said. "As a Bay Area local and more recently as an Oakland resident I know a lot has been going on, but I just - you know it was 6 pm and there were people literally 15 feet away from me."

French Bulldogs are a popular breed and often targets for robbers across the country, because they can fetch high prices.

"I definitely thought that somebody taking him might be a possibility so whenever I walk him, it's not usually dark out, and I always have my eyes peeled," said Nelson.

When asked what have these past 24 hours been like for you, Nelson responded: "It's odd, we come home, and I see his things here... it's even hard for me to contemplate why someone would even do this. We just want him back, we want him safe."

Merlyn is about 26 pounds and grey with black spots. His belly and chest are white. Nelson has set up a reward website for Merlyn's safe return:

She said Oakland Police officers are checking for nearby surveillance video. KPIX 5 reached out to the department, we have not yet heard back.

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