French bulldog puppy snatched at gunpoint in Culver City recovered, suspect in custody

A French bulldog puppy stolen at gunpoint in Culver City has been recovered and -- with the use of a drone -- the man suspected of snatching the pet was taken into custody, authorities said Sunday.

The suspect had responded to an advertisement on a social media listing the 10-month-old dog for sale. The puppy's owner agreed to a meeting in the 6000 block of Canterbury Drive to conduct the transaction at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Culver City Police Department reported.

When the owner placed the dog in the trunk area for viewing, the suspect took a semi-automatic handgun out of his waistband, grabbed the puppy from the trunk and fled on foot, police said.

RELATED: French bulldog puppy stolen at gunpoint in Culver City

"Culver City Police Department detectives immediately began investigating this crime and were quickly able to identify a suspect,'' a police statement said.

Detectives spotted the suspect at about 11:45 a.m. Saturday leaving a home in the Fox Hills area of Culver City.

"The suspect, who was holding a gray French Bulldog, entered a nearby vehicle and drove away,'' police said. "Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, and a short vehicle pursuit ensued.''

The pursuit ended when the suspect's vehicle struck another vehicle near Bristol Parkway and Slauson Avenue. The motorist, the lone occupant inside the vehicle, was not injured.

The suspect fled the scene on foot, a perimeter was established and police, using a drone, located the suspect at approximately 2:45 p.m. He was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and the dog was located unharmed and returned to the owner.

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The French bulldog was named Los Angeles' most popular dog breed in 2021 by the American Kennel Club and the theft of Frenchies has been on the rise across the area.  

Most notably was the theft of two of Lady Gaga's three Frenchies. Her longtime dog walker was shot in Hollywood back in February while trying to keep two men from taking the canines. The third dog ran away from the bandits and came to his side after he was wounded.