TAMPA - Derek McComber was walking his dog, Bueller, around midnight Friday when two young men in gray Honda Civic stopped with a question.
"When they pulled up, all they said was 'What kind of dog is that?' After I said what kind of dog it was, they said they're taking him, and that was that," said McComber.
Confronted with a gun, McComber dropped the leash and was left standing in shock having lost his buddy Bueller, who was more than just a dog.
"A comrade. A best friend, pretty much" said McComber, his voice breaking.
Bueller is like a lot of French bulldogs -- sweet, quirky and irresistibly loveable. Countless YouTube videos attest to their gentle, clownish nature.
French bulldogs are also a trendy pet, ideally suited for apartment living and very expensive, fetching between $1,000 and several thousand dollars for a pure-bred puppy.
Hillsborough Sheriff's deputies say dogs are often stolen, but rarely taken in armed robberies.
Since Friday, McComber has used social media, along with traditional lost-dog flyers to get Bueller back. Bueller doesn't have an implanted microchip that would allow any vets office or shelter to trace him back to Derek.
"That's the number one regret, because actually I thought he was chipped when we got him neutered, but he actually wasn't," said McComber.
Late Monday afternoon, McComber got good news. A man living about six blocks away found Bueller in his front yard on Saturday, and was in the process of putting out flyers, according to Hillsborough Sheriffs. McComber declined an interview to document the reunion.
Crimestoppers is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
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