The owners said they were in town to compete in a dog show in Long Beach. They checked into a Motel 6 in the 17200 block of Downey Avenue in Bellflower at about 11 p.m. Monday, and they parked their van full of show dogs in the back of the motel.
"We brought three of the dogs into the hotel room because they like to stay warmer and it was cold outside," said one of the owners, Kristina Rickard. "The dogs that like to stay cool, we left them out in the van so that they can stay cool and comfortable. Then we woke up this morning, and the van was gone."
The dogs stolen were:
- Trace, a silver and white male Akita
- Dee Dee, a female Akita with stripes
- Bonnie, a black and white female Pembroke Corgi
- Peter, a red and white Pembroke Corgi
"To us, these dogs are priceless," said another owner, David Peek. "We've put our whole lives into these dogs. We just want our dogs. The van is the least important thing to us right now."
The van is described as a 2006 white Chevy Express. The owners say the van has a black box attached to the hitch in the back of the vehicle. There are also stickers of dogs in the back two windows. The license plate number is 8D50252.
"They said they have no surveillance cameras," Rickard said. "There were three security guards that walked around all night, but apparently none of them saw anything. "
The owners of the prized show dogs say they have been showing dogs for years, and they've never had a problem like this until now.
"You just took our family from us," Peek said. "Give them back. These are like our kids. They're not just dogs. They're dogs to you guys, but they're our family.
Motel 6 officials declined to comment.
Anyone with information on the van or dogs is asked to call the Bellflower sheriff's station at (562) 925-0124.