I ran out of the house and headed down the street. Alex came to meet me part way and told me that Vincent saw the two guys, who live across the street from him, take Nico and put him in their house. The two guys were still sitting outside their house. Alex asked me to go talk to them. I approached the two guys and asked them if they'd seen our dog. They told me they had seen him and went to pick him up but he growled at them and so they put him back down and he ran off down the street. Then the one guy (lets call him tattoo gang banger guy, or TGBG, because of his scary stature, neck and arm tattoos, angry face and overall surliness) started getting very aggressive with Alex. He started accusing him of coming over with an attitude and almost lost it when Alex absently flicked a loose piece of metal from the fence onto the ground. He started ranting about "throwing things on his property." He told him (Alex, because he wasn't even acknowledging my presence at this point) to stop accusing him of having our dog when he (Alex) hadn't even looked for him any where else. Then he wanted to know who told him that they saw TGBG take the dog and put him inside?
It was slowly turning into a nightmare right in front of my eyes.
I told Alex that I was going to get the car and start looking for the dog around the neighborhood. He took off on foot to do the same. We met over on the next block and he got in the car. "Mom, I know he has the dog. He told you he went to pick up the dog but let him go. But, he told me that he had the dog, put him inside then went back inside and put him out again. He told us two different stories. He's lying. Plus, Vincent saw him take him."
I decided to go back to the house and knock on the door (they had gone inside at this point). I wanted to ask them one more time if they had the dog. I was even prepared to offer them money if they would just give him back to us. No one answered the door. I tried calling Nico's name to see if he would bark or make a noise. Alex even climbed up on the neighbor's fence to see if he could see anything in TGBG's back yard.
We were getting no response. After some internal debating I decided I needed to call the police. I didn't want to at first. I didn't want any repercussions from these guys, nor did I want to cause any trouble for Vincent's family. I called the police and they sent two units out within 15 minutes. When they first arrived and assessed the situation they told me that they could only knock on the door and hope for a response. But if no one opened the door there was nothing further they could do. They said they ran the name of the person who "lived" in the house and that person had no criminal record. They said if they could talk to anyone inside the house they could get their names and run them to see if anything showed up in the system. Only then could they have cause to go into the house. At first they tried knocking on the door, but no one answered. I figured that was it. We'd probably never see the dog again.
One of the officers came back to talk to me and said that they found a piece of mail on the property with another name on it. When they ran that name they came up with someone who was on parole but had not reported this address to his parole officer. For this reason alone they would be able to go into the house. The officer brought up picture on his patrol car computer and Alex and I were both able to positively ID him as TGBG, one of the guys that we spoke to earlier.
To Be Continued...