HOUSTON – A man believes he was set up after five of his French Bulldog puppies were stolen from him on Houston’s west side.
Augustin Nij said the armed robbery happened at the Hyatt House on Katy Freeway where he was temporarily staying while in the process of moving.
Nij says he chose to stay there because it was pet-friendly.
Days after checking into the hotel, Nij said he was held up at gunpoint and robbed of his puppies. Now, he says it’s a race to find and save them.
“It hurts because my life was in danger,” Nij said.
He thinks back to last Friday when a man came up to him with his son to inquire about buying French Bulldog puppies. He said the man made an excuse and left without buying one of the puppies.
Nij said the dogs were in their cages by the window, and the man that came with his son was showing them to someone on his phone.
Nij believes the man set him up.
“Everyone here has dogs. If you go and look at five or six in the afternoon, they’re all walking their dogs outside,” Nij said.
Three or four minutes after the man who came with his son left, two men who Nij had never seen before knocked on his door. When he opened the door, Nij says the two men forced themselves inside and pushed him down.
“The robber put a gun to my head. I said take what you want, but leave me alone. It was traumatizing,” Nij said.
Nij said another person staying in the hotel came to try and help, but the robbers pointed a gun in his face too, and then took off with five puppies in backpacks, leaving the pup’s mother and one other dog of a different breed behind.
“What’s also bad is every night the puppies’ mother cries and wines, I’d imagine it’s because she misses her puppies,” Nij said.
Nij is most concerned for the safety of the puppies that are just four weeks old and still need their mother to survive.
“The puppies are suffering because they still need to breastfeed to live,” Nij said.
Nij said each puppy averaged a value between six to eight thousand dollars. He added that the most expensive puppy stolen was worth $12,000.
Houston police say investigators are working with the hotel to recover any surveillance video that may help them in this case, but they’re asking anyone with information to give them a call.