The family of an 87-year-old grandfather is pleading for the public's help to find his beloved Chihuahua that was stolen by two young thieves who muscled their way past him as he begged them not to take his pet.
Mario Segovia and his 2-year-old dog, Shorty, were outside a liquor store near the corner of Pomeroy Avenue and Tremont Street in Boyle Heights (map) on the afternoon of Jan. 14 when the dog wandered off inside.
But when Shorty returned, he was being carried out by two men on their way to their vehicle.
Segovia pleaded for the men to release Shorty, even hanging on to the car's window and rearview mirror as the men began to drive off.
"That's when the guy slapped him," said Segovia's grandson, Joe Segovia. "They slapped him twice and they just took off."
Segovia, who adopted Shorty at 9 months and nursed him back to health from starvation, has fallen into depression since that day.
"He wasn't talking to us," his grandson said. "He refused to eat for a while."
The family is offering a $500 reward for Shorty's return.
Segovia described the thieves as two men with bald heads. One was thin and the other was heavy set, Segovia said. They were in what was possibly a white van with a blue stripe across the bottom.
"You took his best friend," Joe Segovia said. "You left him with nothing."
Anyone with information on Shorty's whereabouts is asked to call Joe Segovia at 323-517-3723.