West Hollywood resident Justin Garcia, has been reunited with his English Bulldog, Capone, after his pet companion was stolen from him at gunpoint while he was walking him on Olive Street on November 7. He was reunited with his dog on November 27.
Garcia tells WEHO TIMES that he received a call when he was returning home from the Thanksgiving holiday. He said he did not want to get his hopes up, but that he was excited. “We were able to get him back safely,” he said. “Now we are just focusing on his full recovery. He’s in rough shape right now. He’s malnourished. He was dirty and not mentally all there. He’s having a hard time being outside of the apartment in general. He’s also been sleeping a lot more.”
He says he’s not able to comment on the details of his return or whether anyone has been arrested for the theft. Right now, he is just relieved that his one-year-and-11-month-old tricolor English bulldog is home safe. “It was really hard because we were getting multiple information. We didn’t know if he was roaming the streets by himself or if someone was holding. Now there is peace of mind at least.”
Garcia said the reunion was somewhat bitter sweet, “It was really sad at first, because my Capone didn’t recognize me for the first five minutes,” he said. “He was out of it, but he eventually recognized me after he was able to smell me. He’s very skinny and he’s a dog of a certain size. He’s supposed to be chubby and to not see him that way really hurts me.”
Garcia was walking Capone on November 7, when a trio of thieves suddenly jumped out of a black four-door Jeep and brandished a firearm at him. Garcia reported that the assailants, concealed by masks, issued a chilling ultimatum, demanding, “give me your dog or you die.”
One of the thieves seized Capone and placed the dog in the back of the Jeep, while another invaded Justin’s car, ransacking its contents and scattering his possessions. Remarkably, only an outdated security badge was taken. A bundle of cash the vehicle was untouched.
The culprits hastily made their escape, eluding Justin’s attempts to pursue them.
Both Justin and his girlfriend searched the neighborhood trying to locate their cherished pet, hoping the thieves might have abandoned Capone in the vicinity.
With the theft behind him, Garcia says he’s grateful to the community who put the word out and for all of their support, “I really want to thank the community for everything they’ve done for us,” he said. “It really was a relief knowing he wouldn’t make it far, because everyone put the word out. Even though it took three whole weeks, I’m so appreciative of everyone in our community because we now have our blessing back.”
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West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station polices the City of West Hollywood and the unincorporated communities of Franklin Canyon, Universal City (which includes Universal Theme Park, Studios, and Citywalk), and the Federal Enclave in West Los Angeles.