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CHICAGO– A crew of dognappers are on the loose and in possession of some very expensive canines.

These dogs are worth up to $15,000 each– a very special breed of American Pit Bull Terrier– and the victims say the thieves seemed willing to kill to get them.

Julio Nieves is visiting from Puerto Rico, helping his daughter and son-in-law with their pit bull breeding business.

The 72-year-old great-grandfather was working around the Logan Square garage Thursday when he found himself with a gun in his face.

“The guy who’s got the pistol in the hand– he tell me to go down, so i go down on the floor and he keeps the gun to my head and I just tell him don’t shoot me.”

Julio says he didn’t know what the men were after and he didn’t care. He told them to take whatever they wanted.

They went straight for the pit bulls passing up the pups, in favor of the pregnant females, making off with two of them and their mother. But not before firing a warning shot inside the garage. Something Julio says he’ll never forget.

“We are animal lovers, these dogs go to shows, they been in events, we do love them, we care for them. We don’t know who out there has them right now.. And i don’t think the purpose of them taking them was to treat them well.”

There is some surveillance from around the neighborhood and police have it.

Neighbors also saw the men and have passed along their descriptions.

Julio is still a bit shaken by all this. But as you heard, the family now fears for the well-being of those dogs.