Oakland woman is heartbroken after French bulldog is stolen at gunpoint

Oakland resident Hannah Nelson was in Atlanta for Thanksgiving when she got a call from her friend who was back home looking at her French bulldog named Merlyn.

“She told me it was stolen at gunpoint …” Nelson said. “They were two men dressed in head to toe black … One pointed a gun at his face and the other grabbed the dog and ripped the leash out of his hand.”

Nelson’s friend was walking Merlyn on 24th Street near Valdez in downtown Oakland at 6:05 p.m. when the dog was stolen, Nelson said.

The Oakland Police Department said it responded to the incident just after 6 p.m.


“The victim feared for his life and complied with all requests,” the department said. “The suspects ran to a waiting vehicle and fled east on 24th Street.”

Nelson said that, according to her friend, the suspects drove off, moving in the wrong direction on a one-way street.

Nelson said a neighbor caught the car driving down the street, but the images were too grainy to distinguish the car’s make and license plate. She said police were looking for additional video footage.

“I’m doing everything I can to get it back,” Nelson said. “He’s going to be 2 in December. We got him from a breeder that we found online.”

Stolen French Bulldogs made the news last year. Dogs of the breed are of great value. The American Kennel’s online marketplace with registered Frenchies available in California showed dogs priced at $ 3,500, $ 4,000, $ 5,000 and $ 7,000. The Marvelous Dogs blog stated that the average price for a French Bulldog in the United States is $ 2,800.

The French Bulldog theft caught the nation’s attention when Lady Gaga’s dog walker was shot and two of the singer’s bulldogs, Gustav and Koji, were stolen in Hollywood in an armed robbery. Gaga offered a reward of $ 500,000 and the animals were recovered, the LA Times reported.

Armed robbers assaulted a San Francisco woman in January and stole her 5-month-old French Bulldog, and KRON 4 reported that two sets of dogs were stolen from the East Bay in June. A Frenchie stolen during a hotel room invasion in southern San Francisco in June has been returned, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Nelson offers a crowd-funded reward for his dog’s return and calls on the community to keep an eye on him.

“Most bulldogs are a solid color and it has hyena-like spots,” she said. “Something that also sets him apart is a white chest, it goes from his chin to his stomach. He also has a large black spot on his left shoulder.”

The police department said anyone with information regarding the incident can contact the Criminal Assault Unit at (510) 238-3326.

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