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Dog stolen in home invasion robbery reunited with family

February 2, 2012 | 10:28 am

A bizarre chain of events unfolded when a man entered an Orange County home with the intent to steal three birds and instead left with a Chihuahua, pulling a gun on a family in the process, officials said.

A 59-year-old man in unincorporated Orange County saw a man carrying two bird cages from his backyard Wednesday, authorities said.

The man confronted the suspect, saying, "Hey, where are you going with my birds?" said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

In response, the suspect put down the two cockatiels and a parrot and pulled out a gun.

The suspect chased the victim into the house, where his daughter and three young grandaughters were inside, and put the gun to the man’s head.

The victim's daughter began to scream, startling the gunman and causing him to flee, authorities said. Before he left, though, he took a cellphone, laptop computer, bottle of cologne and the family's Chihuahua, Blanca.

"It does not make sense to me," Amormino said Thursday.

TV reporters were interviewing the family and Amormino at the home Wednesday evening, and in between interviews Amormino jumped into his cruiser and began driving around the neighborhood.

Five blocks into his drive he spotted the small white-and-tan dog and scooped her up.

Blanca had been trained to never leave the yard, Amormino said, and she was visibly shaken by the incident. Once she was back in the arms of her owners, however, "she lit up and was jumping on the kids' laps."

"It did my heart good, too," he said.

The suspect was a stranger to the family and is considered armed and dangerous, Amormino said. A detailed physical description of him was unavailable.

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-- Dalina Castellanos

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