ST. LOUIS — Candace Yancey’s French Bulldog CJ was her pride and joy.
She paid $4,500 when she bought him as a puppy to fly him from California with his American Kennel Club purebred papers. She fed him premium food designed for bulldogs for his sensitive stomach. She had shirts for him and ran an Instagram account under his name.
So on Oct. 20, Yancey was shocked when, she says, CJ was robbed outside of her Florissant townhouse complex.
Yancey said it was nearly midnight when CJ started whining to get out.
Yancey let him out onto the patch of grass outside his unit at The Groves complex in the 2900 block of Santiago Drive. When she came out to check on him, Yancey saw him approach a nearby car that she didn’t recognize.
“He was really friendly, always wanting people to pet him and give him attention,” Yancey said. “So he went straight to them.”
Yancey said he saw a man in a white and blue t-shirt calling CJ in his Dodge sedan. She ran to the car, screaming for CJ, then heard the man cock a gun, she said.
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The car sped up as Yancey ran towards the exit of the compound to try and stop them. Yancey was able to remove the license plate from a red sedan that was following the Dodge with her dog but could not see the car’s plate with CJ in it, she said.
She said she called Florissant police and asked if they had found CJ, but was told no dog matched the description of the bulldog, she said.
Florissant police say they did not tell them the dog was stolen. They said she never asked to file a police report.
She still has no idea where CJ might be, she said.
“I want my dog back,” she said. “I’m not giving up now.”
“I remember her screaming for CJ to look for him,” Yancey’s neighbor Lisa Rogers said. “She loved that dog like her baby.”
Another dog theft happened in St. Louis in October 2019. In this case, a woman was walking her three Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog puppies outside her home when a man asked to look at them and then stole the dogs under the threat of a weapon.
The high demand for dogs for their friendly demeanor, pointy ears and stocky build has driven their value up in recent years.
Yancey asks anyone who knows CJ’s whereabouts to call 314-625-2027.