About two months after thieves violently accosted pop star Lady Gaga’s dog walker, shooting him and stealing her French bulldogs, five people were arrested in connection with the incident, including the person who returned the dogs, authorities announced Thursday.
Los Angeles police alleged that the men who confronted the singer’s dog walker — James Jackson, 18, Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27 — did not know Lady Gaga owned the two French bulldogs, a popular and expensive breed. The three men were charged with robbery and attempted murder.
Jackson, who authorities allege shot the gun, will also face one count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and a felon carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle, according to District Attorney George Gascón. White faces an additional assault charge.
This was a brazen street crime that left a man seriously wounded,” Gascón said in a statement.
Detectives said Jennifer McBride, 50, who returned the dogs two days after the attack, claiming that she found them, had a relationship with the father of one of the suspects, Harold White, 40. The two were charged with accessory to the shooting.
The four men are documented gang members, according to police. It was not immediately clear whether the five had lawyers.
Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, had offered a $500,000 reward for the dogs’ safe return, sharing an email to contact. At the time of the crime, Lady Gaga was reportedly working on a film in Italy.
Given their lofty price tag — between $1,500 and $5,000 or more — the petite dogs have been targeted in recent years by criminals hoping to sell the dogs to people interested in owning the “it” dog.
“Smaller breeds are more appealing for theft, and French bulldogs are wildly popular right now,” Brandi Hunter, vice president of public relations and communications at the American Kennel Club, told CNN. “The demand for the breed is higher than the supply, so they are often a more targeted breed.
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