Stolen pit bull returned to family after being dognapped at gunpoint

Cleveland police say a warrant has been issued for Herman T. Austin in connection with an Oct....
Cleveland police say a warrant has been issued for Herman T. Austin in connection with an Oct. 4 aggravatory robbery and dognapping.(Cleveland police)
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 2:31 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 9:25 PM CDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Missy Lynn, the pit bull who was stolen from her family’s home at gunpoint, has been reunited with her family.

“Apparently, a resident found the dog and it was taken to Animal Care and Control,” a Cleveland police spokesperson wrote in an email “The family has retrieved the dog.”

“I cried like a baby,” owner Leatha McIntosh told 19 News on Tuesday. “My daughter cried like a baby.”

Earlier this week, Cleveland police released the name of a suspect who they say confronted a family at gunpoint and stole their family dog.

Herman T. Austin is wanted for aggravated robbery, according to a Cleveland police media release.

McIntosh, her daughter, and the child’s father, Andre Steele, were confronted by three suspects — two armed with Glock pistols — in their Cleveland home on October 4, according to the police incident report.

Dog thieves threatened to kill them for their 3-year-old red-nosed pit bull.

They surrendered the dog, named Missy Lynn.

Steele said he was walking Missy Lynn when a man on a bike confronted him and claimed the dog was his.

McIntosh credited the extensive news coverage with the successful return.

“The minute you covered the news about who [the suspect] was and released it all, she was set free.”

It’s unclear who brought the dog to the kennel.

Dog thieves get away with taking a family's dog
Dog thieves get away with taking a family's dog(900 block of Wheelock Road, Cleveland)

Steele refused to give up his family pet at first.

The man followed him home and then came back with reinforcements.

Andre Steele said his job is to protect his family.

“Two dudes had guns. Wanted me and her to come outside while my daughter was right there. So, we just gave up the dog because they had the gun pulled out on us. We couldn’t do nothing,” he said.

McIntosh feared for her life and those of her family’s too.

“I was terrified. It was either give up the dog or all of us get buried. I have to do what I have to do as a mother, give them the damn dog. I’m not burying my child. I’m not burying him. I’m not burying myself,” she said.

Held up at gunpoint, their dog Missy Lynn taken
Held up at gunpoint, their dog Missy Lynn taken(900 block of Wheelock Road, Cleveland)

The thieves got away with the dog, but one of them got cut on glass they broke when forced their way into the Wheelock Road apartment, just above the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

At least one of them left bloodstains on the porch and police are using it as DNA evidence to track down the dog thieves.

Call police with any information that could bring these thieves to justice and Missy Lynn home safe.

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