$1,500 reward for lost E. Union pit bull puppy leads to armed robbery

UPDATE: Suspect arrested in pit bull puppy reward money robbery

Original Report:
A desperate search for a lost puppy turned extraordinarily dangerous Wednesday when the dog’s E. Union owner was robbed of more than $800 in reward money by a man armed with a pistol. The man claimed he knew where the 15-week-old blue-nose pit bull puppy was and tricked the owner into driving to south Seattle where the man took the money and disappeared.

Amelia C. says her boyfriend’s decision to let a man with a gun in his pants waistband into his car was rash, unwise — and done out of pure, desperate love. We’re leaving out the couple’s last names even though they’re on posters up and down E. Union. Given what CHS has learned about the rest of the story, it would be a good idea to pull those posters down.

“We didn’t care about the money. We just want our dog back. It was just pure emotion,” Amelia told CHS today as she and her boyfriend continue the search for their new puppy, Honey.

Amelia told CHS that on Tuesday around 7 PM, Honey managed to find her way out of the backyard under a fence and into the street near 20th and E. Union while Amelia and her roommates were inside their residence. A witness told Amelia that somebody driving a white Lexus had stopped, picked Honey up and drove off.

After her boyfriend’s ordeal, Amelia desperately wants to know who actually has Honey. If you have information, please send CHS@capitolhillseattle.com a note or call/text (206) 399-5959 and we’ll immediately pass your contact info to her. Despite already having been robbed of the $800, the couple is again offering a sizable reward for her return.

The details of the robbery are extremely convoluted. From the Seattle Police Department report on the incident, the situation played out like this. Amelia and her boyfriend Brandon were putting up posters with their names and phone numbers offering a $1,500 reward for Honey’s return. As they were hanging the posters on Wednesday near 23rd and Union, a man approached them and told them he had bought the puppy last night for $50 from a man in a Lexus. The man said he needed a ride to where the dog was so they could complete the handover and give him the reward. Amelia and Brandon decided to call the cops to “mediate” the situation but when they arrived, the man said the puppy was not there but that he’d take Brandon to where Honey was being kept. According to the SPD report, Brandon agreed to drive the man to where the puppy was — against the officers’ advice who were concerned the man “was going take advantage of them and take their reward money.”

The report says that Brandon was directed to drive to an address near 21st and Marion. The man got out of the car and returned with a pistol visible in the waistband of his pants. The man said he needed the gun for protection because “people didn’t like him” in the place where Honey was, Amelia said Brandon told her. The SPD report says the man then directed Brandon toward south Seattle. Amelia told CHS she attempted to follow them in her own car but couldn’t keep up with all the turns and the speed at which Brandon drove.

Brandon told police that during the drive to south Seattle, the man reached into Brandon’s pocket and attempted to grab the reward cash. According to the report, Brandon struggled but stopped when the man said he would kill Amelia if the cash wasn’t handed over. Amelia said Brandon gave up $800 of the reward money but was able to keep the man from stealing the other half. He was also texting her throughout the incident as he drove deeper into south Seattle. At that point, Amelia decided it was time to again call the police.

Honey in happier times

The SPD report says the man then directed Brandon to stop the vehicle near 39 Ave S and S Brandon where the man got out of the car and said he’d be back in five minutes with the dog. Brandon waited for a half hour but the man never returned. He then drove around the area looking for Honey until Amelia convinced him to stop the search and meet with police.

The SPD report describes the suspect as a black male, approximately 5′ 4″ 160 pounds, wearing a white beanie, a white v-neck t-shirt and blue jeans. Brandon also said the man had crooked teeth and a tattoo that, according to the police report, could have been an insignia for an area gang, Black Gangster Disciples.

Meanwhile, the police have advised the couple to stay away from E. Union so both are staying with family on the Eastside. “The police advised us not to stay there. It’s very scary,” Amelia said.

Amelia said that she and Brandon are still prepared to pay the $1,500 reward and that they have checked every shelter in the area.

“I don’t know what to do,” Amelia said. “There’s no way of knowing if he was just trying to make a quick buck or if he has Honey.”

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34 thoughts on “$1,500 reward for lost E. Union pit bull puppy leads to armed robbery

  1. Wow. Love is not an excuse for having so little common sense.
    It appears common sense has been lacking not just in this incident, but from the very beginning when they decided to post posters offering a $1500 reward. Never offer an excessively large reward like $1500 for a dog. If a decent person finds the dog, $100 or $200 should be sufficient to entice them into returning it. Offering $1500 is just asking for trouble. Also, pit bull puppies aren’t really even worth much. The shelters are overflowing with pit bulls.

  2. This whole thing just sounds goofy. Common sense ought to tell you to listen to the nice policeman when he suggests that you not accompany the man you just met, the one who suddenly needs a gun, to an address in a somewhat shady end of town. I mean I can understand missing your dog, but someone’s going to get hurt if this keeps up.

  3. I feel terrible for this couple, and you guys should lay off…they clearly were / are desperate and if they weren’t thinking straight…it’s easy to understand. The man who took advantage of them is the lowest of the low. Quit blaming the victims and direct your anger where it belongs.

  4. Thank you so much for helping us out in this time of need. I is very appreciated. We send you thank and good luck from the bottom of our we just want our puppy home

  5. I don’t mean to be cruel, but people with such poor judgment shouldn’t be trusted with a goldfish, much less a dangerous animal like a pit bull. I’m sure you’ll just go get another one. Man I hope you don’t have kids.

  6. The only thing missing from this story is Craigslist. These folks made some very foolish choices and are lucky they didn’t get hurt.

  7. People will be lining up around the block to come take more “reward money” off of these people, since they are so eager to throw it away.

  8. If you must offer a reward, don’t put the amount on the posters, ESPECIALLY if it’s as high as $1500.

    Rule #2: Maybe LISTEN to the cops.

    Rule #3: Don’t let a stranger get into your car, especially if it’s a dude who says he needs a gun for protection from people who “don’t like him.” That’s already an indication that you, TOO, probably will not like him.

    Rule #4: If a dude robs you at gunpoint,don’t go driving around pretending like he still has something he probably doesn’t have.

  9. U guys r so insensitive. Being a dog owner, I can imagine the hell they must be going throught. If u have something hateful to say shutup and stay under your bridge.

  10. i love my dog and don’t know what i’d do if he was lost.
    perhaps better choices will be made moving forward, but i feel awful for you and I’m sorry that people are so insensitive.

    to folks commenting: these people are victims – one does not make oneself a victim. they are looking for their pet, they offered a reward, they were taken advantage of. go back to leading your perfectly fault-free life and leave these people alone.

  11. Who lets their brand new puppy out into the backyard of their shitty Central District rental then goes back into the house to hang out with their roommates? Hello!? Watch your dog! If you really think this is an okay thing to do, you aren’t responsible enough to own a dog. No sympathy for the owners here, I hope Honey has found some people who will actually care for her. A big bankroll ($1500?!) isn’t the path to being a good pet owner.

  12. Candice, one can indeed make oneself a victim. If you go out and leave your doors and windows unlocked you are making it more likely you will be robbed. It doesn’t excuse the person who robs you; it is still a crime, and should be punished accordingly. But you do bear some responsibility.

    To go off with a stranger *after* the police advise you not to is so remarkably stupid I can’t understand how anyone can be that sympathetic to the couple. They are very lucky neither was killed.

    On the other hand, it’s amazing there are people living in the city that are still so naive and trusting.

  13. wow. the commenters on here are quite the clan of sanctimonious assholes. one does not make oneself a victim but one easily makes oneself an asshole.

    Definitions of victim (n)
    vic•tim [ víktim ]
    1. somebody hurt or killed: somebody who is hurt or killed by somebody or something, especially in a crime, accident, or disaster
    2. somebody or something harmed: somebody who or something that is adversely affected by an action or circumstance
    3. somebody duped: somebody who is tricked or exploited

    Synonyms: injured party, fatality, casualty, sufferer

  14. prevention- the act of preventing; effectual hindrance.

    could have easily been prevented. they are victims but more importantly they had the power to prevent themselves from becoming victims. nuff said.

  15. not only did he let a strange man with a gun into his car, but he and his girlfriend were both texting while driving! way to put yourself and others in even more danger!

  16. Thank you for your wisdom. Oh, so they were just forget about their loved one and do nothing, because the guy seemed sketchy, and they deserved to lose their dog because it snuck out and was stolen? What would you do for someone you love? Not much, I guess.

    The only reason why there are many pitbull and rottweiler attacks is because drug addicts, street monkeys, and wannabe gang members have a mysterious fascination with them, and thus a large proportion are raised by sub human scum who wouldn’t know the first thing about raising a dog. Any dog can be dangerous if it’s raised by garbage people.