Niño is home.
The French Bulldog was found safe and was happily reunited with his Glendale family after being stolen out of his owner’s hands in broad daylight back on Oct. 5.
“This could not have happened without the help of our friends in the media. The attention you all provided led to tips that led to the arrest of the suspect and to the dog being located,” Jose Santiago, with the Glendale Police Department’s public safety media relations, shared in a Monday statement.
Niño was unharmed and appeared to be in good health, police say.
The dog had been snatched just before 7 p.m. from a manufactured home park near the 6300 block of West Maryland Avenue. A female victim was out walking her dog when she was approached by a male suspect who made comments about the dog and the cost of the breed, according to police. At one point, the male suspect physically fought with the female victim.
The woman tried wrapping the leash around her arm to prevent the male suspect from taking the dog, but the physical altercation became quite severe, and during the attack the woman lost her grip of the leash and the suspect managed to get away with the dog.
The woman also bit the suspect on his back during the scuffle, police say.
While the investigation was underway, Glendale police say that on Oct. 26, the GPD case agent received an email from a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office intelligence unit, in which the agent was advised that Eduardo Hidalgo Mendez was allegedly video chatting with an inmate, and the stolen dog was reportedly seen on video in his car while Mendez was allegedly talking about selling the dog.
The dog is valued at $4,000.
The Sheriff’s Office intelligence unit member recalled seeing the story featured in local news and the investigation ensued, leading to Mendez being taken into custody the next day. He also allegedly had bite marks on his back.
Mendez is facing four charges including second degree trafficking in the stolen property of another, robbery, theft, and endangerment with substantial risk of causing physical injury.