Four first-class show dogs -- who had been left in a white Chevy van parked in front of a Motel 6, which doesn't seem very classy to us -- were stolen, van and all, early this morning, the LA Daily News reports.
The owners, a couple from Redding, are offering a cash reward in an undisclosed amount for any information leading to their babies. There's no doubt in our minds it'll be a handsome one:
Their canine quartet is estimated to be worth a total of $500,000. Making up one entire half of that is a fluffy little Akita worth $250,000. So yeah, if you see a white Chevy, license plate 8D50252, with "black boxes on the rear and images of dogs on several bumper stickers," do not let the devil out of your sight. Also: Awww! Doggie stickers. How appropriate. We do wonder, however, if the dog thief might have scraped those off already; they seem like kind of a red flag.
Sheriffs say the Redding dog lovers are in town for a show at the Long Beach Conventon Center. There's actually four such shows in the next five days, we've discovered. From Dec. 1 to Dec. 3, three local L.A.-area kennel clubs will be hosting daily shows. The grand finale will be the Tenth Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5 -- at which Best in Show takes away a whopping $50,000.
We can just hear little Miss Akita howling her sorrow from some crummy crime-ring kennel in East L.A. right now.
They've still got three other dogs, apparently Mama's favorites, who don't get left in Chevys in front of Motel 6s, but are desperate to locate the rest of the family. So, with the blue-ribbon-caliber reward in mind, keep your eye out for a confused pack of well-bred little puff tails! And if you're lucky enough to sleuth down the crook, call Lakewood sheriff's deputies at (562) 623-3500.
Your first clue: The van was last seen Monday at 11 p.m. on the 17000 block of Downey Avenue. Go get 'em!
Update: The Associated Press reports that the other two dogs are corgis, and that their owner is named Kristina Rickard.
Acccording to Sergeant Daniel Gillespie, investigators believe the van was actually the target of the theft. Which is highly amusing, considering that old thing is probably worth one-hundredth of its precious cargo. All Horace and Jasper wanted was an old beater to sleep in for the night -- now they've got four high-maintenance show divas on their hands. This could get good.