An Atlanta-area woman is accused of robbing a seller of their French Bulldog puppy and trying to snatch another dog an hour before, according to Georgia authorities.
Renae Tolbert was arrested and charged with robbery by sudden snatching after she ran off with the puppy during an in-person sale on Tuesday, July 26, in Snellville, Gwinnett County police said in an Aug. 2 news release.
The two met in the parking lot of a business on Centerville Highway after Tolbert and the seller agreed to a price for the puppy online. That’s when Tolbert asked to hold the dog before speeding away in her car, authorities said.
Officers said they got a call about a similar robbery attempt from a second victim who said they met with Tolbert in the same parking lot “approximately one hour earlier.”
“She came to meet Tolbert and when she showed Tolbert the dog, the suspect grabbed the dog and attempted to flee but the second victim was able to stop her and get the dog back,” police wrote in the news release.
No injuries were reported. Police confirmed the French Bulldog puppy was later returned to its owner.
French Bulldogs are among the breeds most stolen by dog thieves, Reader’s Digest reported in 2021, citing the American Kennel Club. The group said dog-nappers tend to target “high-value dogs” including Frenchies and smaller breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers.
“These types of dogs are easy to grab and run with,” said Tom Sharp, president of AKC Reunite.
Thieves may get crafty by claiming to be a dog’s owner or adopt a dog from a shelter only to sell it for a quick profit, also known as “dog flipping,” according to the AKC.
Law enforcement officials advise meeting in a public place when arranging an online sale, and only meet people you’re familiar with.
Snellville is about 30 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.
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