Blanca the white Chihuahua was back home Wednesday night after being "dognapped" during a violent home invasion robbery near Anaheim. That, along with the fact that the victims were not seriously hurt, was the best news.
"I thought it was my last time," said the homeowner, who did not want to be identified. "I said just protect my daughter and my grandchildren."
The victim had tears in his eyes as he told NBC 4 how the suspect terrorized him at gunpoint inside his own home.
It was about 11:30 Wednesday morning when he saw the suspect in his backyard, walking away with an occupied birdcage.
"I asked him, what are you doing with my birds," the victim said. "He put them down and pulled out a gun."
That's when the victim ran inside his home and locked the front door, but the suspect kicked it in and chased him to a bedroom.
"He started kicking the door again so I went inside the bathroom," the homeowner said.
But the suspect didn't give up.
"I was inside the bathroom, we were fighting with the door and he opened it, pointed the gun at me, I said please, no."
The victim pleaded for his life and the lives of his daughter and three grandchildren, who were also in the home. The suspect finally left, but on the way out, he grabbed Blanca.
That's where veteran Orange County Sheriff's Dept. spokesman Jim Amormino came in.
"I'm a dog lover so I had some free time here," Amormino said. "I drove around for about an hour."
Amormino found Blanca and reunited her with the family. The birds are also safe, but the victim is still shaken.
Amormino said he is puzzled by this "animal napping" turned violent home invasion.
"It is very bizarre and very dangerous because this all started over a couple of birds," Amormino said.