Updated after the jump with the dog thief's "obsessive compulsive" history. Originally posted at 12:53 p.m.
French bulldogs are super cute, we'll admit. Especially in holiday sweaters. But 20-year-old Darryl Jerome Cole, of L.A. County's own foothill town of Duarte, likes those little fat-faces way too much for comfort.
Of course, it could have something to do with the fact that French bulldogs, especially the real lookers (read: inbred walnut-brains), can be worth a few grand on the show-dog market.
Such was the case with a $3,000 purebred up for sale in Anaheim on Dec. 14 --
Cole quickly responded to the breeder's ad, and the buyer and seller met up in unincorporated Anaheim to make the deal.
However, since he couldn't bargain down to FREE, Cole decided to shove the breeder out of the way and run off with the little feller. He then took his latest catch back to his house, where OC sheriffs spokesman Jim Amormino says the crook was keeping another French bulldog, suspected to be one missing from a breeder in Chino.
Amormino says the department is pretty sure Cole is responsible for two more French Bulldog thefts in Temecula and Costa Mesa, as well. What can we say? Kid knows what he wants -- and gets around. Because Cole was already on probation for stealing dogs, his bail was set at a lofty $50,000.
Just over a month ago, two six-figure Akitas were stolen from outside a Motel 6 in Bellflower. Do you know where your show dogs are?
Update: According to Lorinda Tucker, the owner of Macy, the bulldog Cole took in December, the young man showed up at her house after dark -- even though she never gave him her address.
"He seemed OCD, straightening everything out in front of him," she said at a news conference this afternoon. "He said, 'Remember me? I'm Nick. I called earlier.'''
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Macy was dressed in a glittery pink sweater for the conference. (What did we tell you about bulldogs and sweaters?) Her newly not-for-sale companion at her side, Tucker described how Cole slammed her on the ground that night, and "just took off -- the next thing I saw was skids and taillights.''
According to investigators, Cole was "very cooperative and very apologetic." Strangest of all, they noticed he was extremely knowledgable about the dogs and their specific breeds.
"I've never met anyone who didn't fall in love with a Frenchie," said Tucker.
With reporting from City News Service.