Burglars stealing dogs in Fresno County

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A series of burglaries has Fresno County sheriff's detectives on the trail of thieves with unusual targets. (KFSN)

UPDATE: About 10 minutes after our story aired we were informed that someone has returned Jax. Ailani is still missing.

A series of burglaries has Fresno County sheriff's detectives on the trail of thieves with unusual targets.

Detectives say six homes in the area near Caruthers and Easton have been hit by burglars in the last three weeks. But in at least two of the cases, the thieves took more than electronics and jewelry. They took dogs -- and more specifically, English bulldogs.
After a weekend away, Sharon Perkins walked into her home Sunday night and found it in disarray. She knew right away burglars had struck. Electronics and jewelry were clearly missing.

And as she walked through the house, she was close to tears when she realized her beloved bulldog, Jax, was also gone.

"You know, it's hard to not be upset about it," she said while fighting back tears. "My house was already invaded, shambles. It's not necessary to take my animals. It's not. I just don't understand why people would do that."

The house may seem lonelier now, but Perkins is not alone. Sheriff's detectives believe the same burglars have hit at least six homes in the same general area. At one of the others, the crooks took another bulldog.

Like Jax, Ailani is a one-year-old English bulldog. The dogs can be valuable, but detectives aren't sure why they're being targeted.
"Whether it's being resold or stolen and maybe possibly used for breeding, we don't have any information about that," said Fresno County sheriff's detective Scott Schwamb.

Jax and Ailani have similar looks -- with brindle over their left eyes. And they have very distinctive teeth.

Their owners tell me they feel almost like a family member's been kidnapped. But they're not worried about catching the burglars or getting back their iPads or their necklaces.

'No questions asked," Perkins said. "We just want the dog back. Just, if you have a heart at all, give us our dog back."

Perkins scraped together money from family and friends to offer a $3300 reward to get Jax back.

Have a lead? Contact Detective Scott Schwamb at (559)600-8174.

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