By Marybel Gonzalez
CHICAGO (WBBM) — One Little Village man is sharing a word of caution, after his dog was almost stolen from him while on a walk.
It happened Wednesday afternoon in broad daylight near 33rd and Pulaski, and it was all caught on camera.
The surveillance video might seem like two people chatting, except the person in black is wearing a bulletproof vest, and he’s not bending down to pet Luis Garcia’s dog. He’s there to snatch it.
Gonzalez: “The fact that they were wearing a bulletproof vest—does that say something to you?”
Garcia: “Yeah, it definitely told me that they were up to no good.”
Garcia the would-be thieves approached him, asking him if he had seen their lost puppy, but it was all a ruse. He believes they were after his French bulldog, Sammy.
“They knew what they were looking for. They knew what they were after. I mean, because I had another dog. A Chihuahua, a blue-nosed Chihuahua, which is also pretty rare, and they didn’t even think about going after him,” he said.
It’s because French bulldogs like Sammy are expensive; some selling for thousands of dollars. They were named American Kennel Club’s most popular dog breed last year.
What the thieves didn’t count on is that this dog dad would to go to any lengths to defend his furry friend.
“I told them you’re going to have to take him out of my dead cold hands,” Garcia said.
The video shows Garcia chase after the suspect.
“I picked up concrete bricks, asphalt bricks that are right here, and I started threatening him. He ran, and then I ran after my dog. That’s when he asked the guy in the car to shoot me,” he said.
Garcia said, if anything, he’s grateful this incident happened on a corner with several surveillance cameras. If he would have walked in either direction, just a few steps, none of this would have been captured.
“It could’ve just been luck, God, I don’t know,” Garcia said.
Both Garcia and Sammy got away unharmed.
“What these criminals have to realize is that these beings are not just a pet, or an object, or property. Us that consider ourselves dog parents, we take care of them, we bond with them, we raise them,” Garcia said.
And hopefully continue to walk them safely, too.
“It’s not going to stop me. I might take different routes now, more precautions,” he said.
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