Why thieves are snatching French bulldogs across the U.S.

So why are French bulldogs quite such a tempting target for thieves?

Two key reasons: their high resale value — $3,500 to $5,000 or more — and their relative rarity, Brandi Hunter Munden, vice president of the American Kennel Club, told AFP.

“This is not a breed that has large litters… and it can take a while to get one,” she said. “Their rise in popularity has led to an increase in thefts.

“The use of violence, however, is new and alarming.”

In the face of the spate of “dognappings,” experts offer a list of precautions for owners: have a computer chip implanted in the pet to allow tracing; always keep it on a leash when outdoors (and seal any dog door that allows it to leave home unescorted); keep its identity papers in a safe place; use a GPS-equipped collar; and be wary of strangers who come knocking.