Police Saturday said a French bulldog puppy stolen at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Target store in North Hollywood has been returned to the dog’s owner.
The puppy was found late Friday evening and the suspects wanted in connection with the theft remained outstanding, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.
The family had offered a $12,000 reward for the puppy’s safe return.
The 5-month-old puppy, named Seven, was snatched March 20 at around 4:20 p.m., after two men inside the store saw 8-year-old Elani Valencia, along with her mother Jasmin and her uncle, enter with the dog.
The men followed the uncle to the family’s car after he left the store with the puppy while the girl and her mom were checking out, CBS2 reported.
Elani’s uncle tried to put Seven in the car to keep the dog safe, but one of the men pulled out a gun and grabbed the puppy before both men fled the area, her mother told the station.
“It just brought a lot of pain to me and it really hurt me,” said Elani, who got the puppy as a Christmas gift from her mom.
Both suspects are described as Hispanic men about 20 years old and 5-feet-10 inches tall, with brown hair and eyes. One of the men was wearing black shoes, blue jeans, a camouflage jacket, a red hat turned backward and gauge earrings. The other suspect was wearing white shoes, blue jeans and a black sweater.
Police have seen an uptick in the theft of French bulldogs, which have topped the American Kennel Club’s list of the most popular dog breeds in Los Angeles for several years straight.
Last month, two of singer Lady Gaga’s three French bulldogs were stolen in Hollywood by two men who shot her longtime dog walker. The pets were later returned by a woman who said she had found them.
Earlier this month, Redondo Beach police arrested a man and woman suspected of grabbing an 8-week-old French bulldog from his owner and speeding off in a Mercedes-Benz. The dog was recovered unharmed.
Anyone who has any information about Seven’s theft was asked to call the LAPD’s North Hollywood Division at 818-623-4016.