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Minnesota Man Sentenced for Stealing Family’s French Bulldog

A 24-year-old man in St. Paul, Minnesota, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for stealing a family’s dog and holding him ransom, CBS News reports. 

Christopher Brigham pleaded guilty to the theft of the 3-year-old French Bulldog named Pablo back in May of this year. A surveillance camera captured his accomplice, a 34-year-old woman named Chanessa Gipson, snatching the dog from the front porch of a family’s home in Maplewood, Minnesota. The two then fled with Pablo in a black Jeep. 

Unfortunately, the whereabouts of the stolen French Bulldog remain unknown to this day. 

As per reporting by Star Tribune, Pablo’s owner — Lynnea Sterling — was present during Brigham’s sentencing on Dec. 12. Sterling addressed the convicted man, saying, “If you had a conscience, you would tell us where the dog is.” 

Gipson, on the other hand, will go on trial in January 2024.

Stolen French Bulldog held for $500 ransom

Soon after realizing Pablo was gone, the Sterlings hit the streets, hanging flyers of their missing dog everywhere. 

Then, two days later, Brigham reached out to Sterling on Facebook and informed her they had her canine. Backing this claim, he proceeded to send photos and a video of Pablo to the pet parent.  

According to court documents, Brigham insisted he would return Pablo only if Sterling paid him $500. The distraught dog owner told authorities Brigham suddenly cut off communication when she requested they meet so she could deliver the money in exchange for Pablo’s freedom. 

Thereafter, an unidentified man contacted Sterling, telling her Brigham and another woman often steal dogs who seemingly look lost and sell them off for profit. He also shared that if an owner of the stolen dog places a reward, the two St. Paul residents usually offer the dog back to the owner at a price.

Maplewood Police later arrested Brigham and Gipson and charged them with felony theft. 

Reuniting with their beloved Frenchie is something the Sterlings have been yearning for ever since he went missing.

“If you see him, he’s got a blind left eye. He’s hard to miss,” Sterling narrated. “He pukes when he eats the wrong things. He pees in the house.” 

Continuing, she added, “Nobody wants him as a dog but his family and we’re his family and we want our baby back.”

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