The dog’s owner, Justin Garcia, told Nexstar’s KTLA that he was walking his English bulldog named Capone while he went to retrieve belongings from his car around 11:45 p.m. Monday.
Three thieves then pulled up, jumped out of a black four-door Jeep, and pointed a gun at him.
According to Garcia, one of the gunmen told him to “give [him] the dog or [he dies].”
While one thief took Capone to the back of the Jeep, another jumped into Garcia’s car and ransacked it, throwing his belongings around. Garcia said all that was stolen was an old security badge and that a wad of cash in the car was not taken.
The thieves eventually sped away. Garcia tried to chase them but was unable to catch up to them.
Garcia and his girlfriend have been searching fruitlessly for their pup, driving around the neighborhood in hopes that the thieves just dropped him off somewhere on the streets.
Capone, a tricolor English bulldog, is 1 year and 10 months old and weighs about 50 pounds.
According to his owners, he is the “sweetest, friendliest dog you will ever meet.”
“I’m deeply worried. He’s not only just a part of our family and our life, but he’s my emotional support animal,” Garcia said. “He’s everything I need when I have a hard day and when I come home, he’s there for me with unconditional love.”
Authorities are investigating, but they told the couple that all they can do is wait for detectives to get back to them.
According to Spot Pet Insurance, an English bulldog ranges in price from about $1,500 to $2,000. The website said some factors that can contribute to the price include coat color, gender, age, breeder reputation, and bloodline.