The public now has answers to questions about the status of a dog used in a carjacking in Irvine.
The eyebrow-raising scene began on July 16, near Boomer’s Family Fun Center in Irvine, when the dog was thrown into a parked Cal-Trans construction truck by its owner, in order to distract the driver inside. Obviously panicked, driver exited the vehicle.
The dog’s owner then fled in the vehicle. After a chase ensued, the driver was arrested shortly after crashing the Cal-Trans truck at John Wayne Airport.
Irvine Police reported the incident on social media, causing the public to question the whereabouts and status of the dog used in the carjacking.
On Tuesday, July 21, the Irvine Police Department issued an update on the animal. Irvine Police Department Spokesperson Karie Davies explained that after the arrest, the dog, which did not have any identifying collars, was captured by Irvine Animal Services, and was not injured.
“The dog was not injured and was taken into safe custody by our Animal Services Unit since the owner was arrested,” Davies wrote in an email to Irvine Weekly.
Not much is known of the dog, other than that it is female. However, she will remain with the Irvine Police Department until her owner can claim her.
“[We] don’t know the breed but the dog is a female and we don’t know her name,” Davies wrote. “The owner is still in custody, so the dog will remain in safekeeping until he claims her. Since the owner was arrested and the dog wasn’t part of the criminal investigation. So, the owner would have to claim the dog and pay any fees for her housing.”
Davies explained that a member of the suspect’s family may have interest in taking the dog, but approval is needed from the owner to be released. Davies added that it can be complicated, and there’s no estimated time table for how long she will be there.
“[It] sounds like a family member is interested in her so the owner would have to release the dog to the family member. It’s hard to give specific details on how long she’ll be there. If nobody claims her then eventually she will be put up for adoption,” Davies wrote.
A photo of the truck was posted by Irvine Police Department and identifies the man as 31-year-old Erik Baumle. In the statement IPD gives a breakdown of exactly what Baumle did in order to steal the CalTrans truck.
The incident occurred inside the Boomer’s parking lot, on Michelson Drive. As a CalTrans worker was sitting in his truck he became aware of Baumle standing at his passenger door. The driver explained that after Baumle suddenly threw a dog into the passenger seat, which made him exit the truck, in fear of his safety. As the driver exited, Baumle entered the truck and drove off.
The driver was able to flag down a fellow CalTrans employee, and followed Baumle while alerting authorities.
Baumle tried to enter a parking structure at John Wayne Airport, but the truck was too tall. He then reversed into police vehicle, but eventually stopped.
Baumle, was ultimately arrested by Irvine Police Department after a short standoff. He was placed under arrested for carjacking, theft of a vehicle, and assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Irvine Police Department.
The case is now being heard by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.