“We are devastated. My kids cried,” said Angel Valadez, owner of the stolen pit bull. “It’s like they took a child.”
Valadez said he was at work around 4:45 p.m. when his security camera captured three men hunched over the door of his house near Poly High School.
Seconds after walking through the door, one of the individuals grabbed her 4-month-old puppy Hazel by her fur and ran away. The other two people along with the individual who snatched Hazel stay a while longer as they also attempt to take Valadez’s second dog, Chico, a one-year-old French Bulldog.
When Chico refused to get too close to the people outside the door, one of them jumped into Valadez’s house and chased after the black dog.
The intruder eventually gave up and jumped outside, with Chico seen standing and barking as the individuals fled, security footage shows.
“Hazel was very adorable,” Valadez said. “That’s why she moved closer to them when they approached the fence.”
Shortly after Hazel’s robbery, one of Valadez’s neighbors told her that he captured the three individuals getting into a red sedan, but not before trying to back out a second time to try to take Chico, according to security footage.
Thanks to his neighbor’s state-of-the-art security system, Valadez said he was able to file a police report with the Long Beach Police Department and provide a license plate number for the red sedan in which the individuals who had taken Hazel had entered.
Police were not immediately available to comment on the incident and the motive remains unclear.
Valadez said this incident was particularly profound because he put off buying a new pet due to the deaths of his longtime dogs. But recently he decided to buy Hazel, and his family fell in love with the blue-eyed pit.
“It would mean anything to get the dog back,” Valadez said. “It’s the family, the family sticks together.”
Editor’s note: Due to a typo, an earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Hazel’s name as Hazeo.
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