Two puppies and cash were stolen at gunpoint from a Pico Rivera pet shop Wednesday afternoon, and the store owner is praying the dogs — puppies of his own beloved bulldog — will be found and safely returned to him.
Around noon on Christmas Eve, a man walked into Mr. Bulldog on Whittier Boulevard in the southeastern Los Angeles County city wearing a bandana around his face and brandishing a handgun.
“He pointed the gun at my boss and he said, ‘Give me the money,’” shop employee Miriam Guillen said.
The robber, believed to be between 20 and 25 years old, then turned his attention to the dogs.
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“After he took the money he said ‘Give me a dog. I want a bulldog — two,’” Guillen said.
Owner Jay Lee was forced to hand over two 10-week-old English bulldogs. Lee’s dog Blue is the puppies’ dad, and the robber threatened to shoot the 2-year-old when he began growling at the man.
Each dog is estimated to be worth $2,500, but Guillen said their recovery is about more than the financial loss.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking,” Guillen said. “It’s not about the money or the amount that they were for, it’s just the fact that we don’t know where they go.”
The robbery was caught on surveillance, and the man was caught on tape fleeing on foot clutching the puppies. Before the robbery, cameras captured him without the bandana in the passenger seat of a black BMW in the shopping center’s parking lot.
The robber escaped with about $500 in cash.