WASHINGTON: The 2 thieves who brutally robbed 27-365 days-aged Marieke Bayens at gunpoint on a California boulevard weren’t after her purse — or her. They wished the minute dog on the live of her leash: Merlyn, a French bulldog.
From New York to Los Angeles, and from Miami to Chicago, thefts of the prized breed enjoy been on the upward thrust.
Petite and pleasant — and thus straightforward to buy — French bulldogs are massively standard, promoting for thousands of greenbacks on the murky market.
They enjoy got the added map of being a “dog of the stars.”
The most renowned victim to this level has been Lady Gaga. Armed men final 365 days stole her pet bulldogs Koji and Gustav, even opening fireplace on an employee who used to be strolling them (he used to be wounded nonetheless survived).
The movie star singer equipped a $500,000 reward for his or her return and at final bought the canine aid. Police made five arrests within the case.
Bayens survived a similarly worrying attack in November while strolling Merlyn, a first fee friend’s dog, within the California metropolis of Oakland. The brazen attack occurred in grand daylight hours.
“I was attempting ahead to Merlyn to transfer about his commercial when I saw two of us coming,” she informed AFP. “Before I knew it, one used to be in entrance of me pointing a gun at my face and acknowledged, ‘Give me the dog.’
“The choice had already grabbed Merlyn off the bottom, and when I didn’t answer to the one pointing the gun, the alternative pulled the the rest of Merlyn’s leash out from my hand. They ran away in direction of their car and sped away down a boulevard,” going the disagreeable manner on a one-manner boulevard, she acknowledged.
Bulldog thefts in other locations within the nation enjoy been implemented with identical chilly-blooded tactics.
Final 365 days, of us in San Francisco heard the distressing fable of 30-something Sarah Vorhaus, who used to be stopped by three armed men — and brutally beaten by one — sooner than they made off with her five-month-aged French bulldog Chloe. Photos on social media confirmed the young lady with a badly swollen face.
So why are French bulldogs quite this type of tempting plan for thieves?
Two key reasons: their excessive resale fee — $3,500 to $5,000 or extra — and their relative rarity, Brandi Hunter Munden, vice president of the American Kennel Membership, informed AFP.
“Here’s no longer a breed that has gargantuan litters… and it will enjoy close a while to acquire one,” she acknowledged. “Their upward thrust in repute has led to an enlarge in thefts.
“The utilization of violence, nonetheless, is unique and alarming.”
In the face of the spate of “dognappings,” consultants provide an inventory of precautions for owners: enjoy a computer chip implanted within the pet to permit tracing; continually aid it on a leash when out of doors (and seal any dog door that enables it to leave home unescorted); aid its identification papers in a safe quandary; expend a GPS-geared up collar; and be cautious of strangers who plan knocking.
However the necessary recommendation — and the one presumably least seen — involves social media: owners are strongly entreated to withstand the temptation of posting adorable images or videos of their pets, that might permit thieves to uncover them.
Hundreds of celebrities — actors, athletes, musicians, models and influencers — enjoy no longer renowned that rule. They encompass stars esteem Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Jackman, Chrissy Teigen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Michael Phelps and Hilary Duff.
So it’s no longer unsightly that Hollywood has turn out to be a hotspot of French-bulldog thievery.
In late December, one resident almost lost his existence in an incident near Sunset Boulevard.
Robert Marinelli used to be strolling Luca, his eight-365 days-aged bulldog, when he used to be attacked.
Two thieves beat him brutally, and when his shirt used to be caught in their car door, he used to be dragged temporarily on the bottom.
He suffered intensive accidents and used to be hospitalized.