Woman walking French Bulldog in Portage Park has it stolen in armed robbery

A Chicago woman had her French Bulldog stolen during an armed robbery Wednesday night on the city's Northwest Side.

Alicja Pierzchala, 64, told police she was walking her dog "Peppa" around 7:45 p.m. in the 5800 block of West Giddings St. when an unknown offender pulled out a gun and demanded the dog.

"I just walk with my Peppa," Pierzchala told reporters. "She was sniffing, walking, all of a sudden behind of me I felt pressure."

Pierzchala said she struggled with the gunman and was later treated at a hospital for cuts to her wrists, forehead and a concussion.

The offender then ran off with the 6-year-old black French Bulldog.


Two months ago, Pierzchala rescued Peppa the French bulldog from being euthanized.

Now Pierzchala and her family are trying to rescue Peppa again, this time from a thief. They are asking the public for help while also appealing to the thief to return Peppa. "Hopefully the people will change their minds, as my mom said, and will return her," said Pierzchala’s daughter Angelica.

Her mother added, "I don’t know what to do more? I don’t know."

Pierzchala was walking Peppa near her home and decided to venture a little farther than usual because of the nice weather, she told the Sun-Times.

Pierzchala had just turned onto the 5800 block of West Giddings Avenue when someone put a gun to the back of her head and yelled, "Give me your dog," she said.

"All of a sudden I could not move, she said. "I saw my Peppa was lifted up. I said, ‘What’s going on?’ Because it was so quiet I didn’t hear nothing, no footsteps."

Peppa’s leash was attached to Pierzchala’s wrist and there was a struggle as the person tried to pull the dog away. The robber pointed the gun at Pierzchala’s chest, then her forehead.

"Still I can feel it," Pierzchala said.

The robber punched her in the shoulder and Pierzchala fell backward onto the ground. As she faded in and out of consciousness, she saw a van fleeing the scene.

Pierzchala suffered a concussion and an injury to her rotator cuff, the same shoulder she had surgery on two years ago, according to her daughter.

Police say whoever stole Peppa left his cellphone behind and was caught on several videos as he ran toward a red van. They have another strong lead in the case: Peppa has a microchip that can be tracked.

The family has spread the word on social media hoping someone will spot Peppa.

Pierzchala adopted Peppa two months ago after learning the former owners planned to put her down. "She was so happy to go on walks with my mom," Angelica Pierzchala said. "I think she started to finally feel like this is home."

Nobody was reported in custody. The investigation is ongoing.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.