Some Asshole Stole a Van Full of Dogs in San Francisco Yesterday

Thankfully, the large sprint van was recovered hours later — and all eight of the good boys and girls and non-gender-conforming doggos were found to be OK.

According to the American Kennel Club, dog thefts were up 40% in 2022 from the previous year. The most targeted fur children were Labrador Retrievers, Yorkshire Terriers, and, of course, French Bulldogs. (The San Francisco Bay Area is a metropolis rife with instances of “Frenchies” being stolen; in August, three French bulldog puppies were stolen from a Mountain View home, for example.)

It’s an unfortunate reality, which has been linked to the rising costs of specialty dog breeds. Most stolen dogs are taken by what are called “dog flippers,” who sell the animals through back channels at high-profit margins; in some instances, the thief will wait until there’s a public reward offered for the dog — it’s at this point where they’ll then get in contact with the owner and exchange the dog for the cash reward.

In San Francisco yesterday, January 24th, some asshole stole a Mercedes Sprinter van full of dogs from a local dog-walking company, No Nonsense Dogwalking, in an alleged attempt to take the precious cargo inside (and the cargo van, itself).

The van was reported stolen around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Haight-Ashbury, per the San Francisco Police Department.

“SFPD] officers [are] searching for White Mercedes Sprinter Van front plate AJOP154, rear plate 73119U2 stolen with 8 dogs inside from Ashbury/Upper Terr,’ ‘ read a tweet from San Francisco Police Public Information Officer Rueca. “If seen, call 911 and provide the location/direction of travel.”

Thankfully, the van was found later in the evening around 8 p.m. in the Mission District. Per Rueca, all the dogs were accounted for and reunited with their worried owners.

A Reddit thread was started soon after the van was stolen; a commenter was apparently close to the dog walk involved in the theft; they noted that all the owners were instructed to pick up dogs at Waller police station. 

“We are still awaiting answers on how this happened, but please know it has been resolved,” the Reddit user writes. Again, it’s unclear what spurred the stealing of the van, but the van was allegedly abandoned with all the dogs in the back; the commenter inferred that perhaps the thief thought they were stealing an Amazon van.

No information on any suspects or arrests has been publicly shared as of publishing. But rest assured: There’s a special place in Hell for said criminal.

Feature image: Courtesy of Highway Code

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