A man suspected of stealing a French bulldog in an armed robbery was arrested after a pursuit in Culver City Saturday, officials said.
The owner of the 10-month-old gray dog had listed it for sale on social media and agreed to meet a potential buyer in the 6000 block of Canterbury Drive on Wednesday, according to the Culver City Police Department.
A man arrived at the location and asked to see the dog.
When the owner put the dog in his trunk area, the man took out a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband, grabbed the dog and fled on foot, police said in a news release.
Detectives were able to quickly identify a suspect, the department said.
Around 11:45 a.m. Saturday, detectives spotted the robbery suspect holding a gray French bulldog as he left a home and got in a car in the Fox Hills area of Culver City.
The suspect did not stop when officers tried to get the vehicle to yield, kickstarting a short pursuit that ended when the suspect’s vehicle slammed into another vehicle near Bristol Parkway and Slauson Avenue, police said.
The suspect then got out of the car and fled on foot before eventually being found and arrested on suspicion of armed robbery.
No one was injured in the crash.
The French bulldog was found unharmed and returned to its owner.
Officials did not identify the robbery suspect and no further details were available.
French bulldogs can fetch thousands of dollars and have become increasingly targeted by thieves, according to the American Kennel Club, which warned of a spike in pet thefts this year.
There have been several recent reports of French bulldogs being stolen in the Los Angeles area, including the violent robbery of Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs in Hollywood.
A nonprofit pet adoption service, Adopt-a-Pet.com, in March issued an emergency alert, warning about a rise in pet thefts. They offered owners these tips to protect their furry friends:
- Never leave pets unattended in yards or tied up outside stores
- Stay alert while walking outside and pay attention to your surroundings
- If possible, pair up with other pet owners for walks
- Make sure the dogs are microchipped with up-to-date contact information
- Be careful while posting photos of pets online, because thieves could use social media posts to know about your location and daily habits