Los Angeles sees rise in French bulldog thefts

French bulldogs can be a target because of their high value.

January 02, 2022, 3:09 PM

A French bulldog owner in Los Angeles was reunited with his pet last week after it was stolen from him during a violent robbery on the street, police said.

The dognapping was one in a string of French bulldog thefts in the city lately.

Robert Marinelli was walking his dog Luca on Tuesday morning in West Hollywood when a man in a black sedan got out of his car, took the dog and ran, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Marinelli chased after the suspect, but the suspect fought him and drove off, according to surveillance camera footage from the crime scene.

Marinelli's shirt got stuck in the door of the car, and he was dragged a few feet.

"I'm just completely distraught," Marinelli told ABC News last week. "Someone has just ripped my heart out."

PHOTO: French bulldog Luca is seen in this undated photo.
French bulldog Luca is seen in this undated photo.
via The Los Angeles Police Department

KABC reported Thursday that Luca was reunited with Marinelli and was safe at home. However, there were no details about how the dog was returned.

No suspect has been identified or arrested in connection with the theft, and the LAPD is still investigating, according to police.

French bulldogs can be a target of thieves because of their high value. Dogs of the breed can cost as much as $5,000.

Two weeks ago, three men held a woman up at gunpoint in Hollywood while she was walking her French bulldog, the LAPD said.

The woman let go of the leash, and the dog ran across the street before it was captured by one of the suspects, according to police.

In February, a group of men shot and robbed Lady Gaga's dog walker, Ryan Fischer, and dognapped two of her French bulldogs. Fischer was hospitalized.

Gaga's bulldogs were returned to an LAPD station a few weeks later and police arrested five people in connection with the crime.

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