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Dog sale gone wrong: French bulldog puppy stolen at gunpoint in Fort Worth; suspect, puppy later found

The incident happened shortly before 1 p.m. Monday near the 8600 block of Hulen Street, near Risinger Road.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Updated at 6:37 p.m. with information that Dumbo the dog has been found.

Police say they have found the man accused of robbing a person at gunpoint during the sale of a French bulldog puppy in Fort Worth. The dog has also been found, according to the Fort Worth Police Department.

The alleged armed robbery happened shortly before 1 p.m. Monday near the 8600 block of Hulen Street, near Risinger Road, in far southwest Fort Worth, according to a police report.

Police said the victim, later identified as Ario Magana, was trying to sell the puppy named Dumbo to the suspect. The suspect allegedly gave Magana a random address in the area, in a neighborhood cul-de-sac, to meet up and make the deal.

When Magana arrived, the suspect had a gun and stole the dog, the dog's papers and other items from Magana, police said. 

Magana went to a nearby Walgreens, where he called police.

Ario Magana and his wife, Edith Aguilar, said they've been breeding French bulldogs for almost two years. Every sale they've ever done has gone smoothly, they told WFAA.

Until this week.

"My whole life, 45 years, I never [had] somebody point a gun [at] me. Never. Never!” Magana said.

The couple said they use Craigslist to find buyers. Edith showed WFAA the text conversation she had with a man who reached out on Monday about a puppy.

“He wanted to buy it for $4,000," Magana said. 

The puppy was for his daughter, the man told Edith. A birthday gift.

Credit: Fort Worth Police Department

Then the man said via text that his car broke down and he asked the couple if they could meet him in the South Hulen Street area of far southwest Fort Worth.

Edith said the man texted her asking her to bring the puppy to his house and said he would even pay extra money for the gas to get out there. He even texted her an exact address.

But Fort Worth police say the man didn't actually live there. 

When the couple arrived, he allegedly robbed them at gunpoint.

"He told me, 'Give me everything, Ario,'" Magana said. The man took Magana's wallet, cash, the puppy and its papers. Nobody was hurt during the robbery, according to a police report.

Magana said the robbery scared him and Edith so much that they couldn't sleep that night.

“Yesterday, I [had God's] protection to me. So [I didn't die] yesterday. I [was] scared. I [was] scared," Magana said.

Magana gave Fort Worth police the number the man was texting Edith from, as well as a description: The man had black hair, with a lot of tattoos on his face. He was later found, though police did not yet release his name. However, they said the suspect could face charges of aggravated robbery.

Meanwhile, the couple said they have been shaken up. Moving forward, they're not sure if they'll sell another puppy.

French bulldogs have been the target of thieves before. Earlier this year, Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot, and her French bulldogs were stolen in Los Angeles. The dogs were later returned, and five people were arrested in the incident.

In North Texas, pet owners about two years ago, in January 2020, were reporting a series of French bulldog thefts in Dallas and in Irving. 

According to some estimates at the time, French bulldogs are among the top five most commonly stolen dog breeds across the country.

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