SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A carjacking victim lost his wife two months ago. On Monday, Donald Mittica lost something else that his late spouse gave him before she passed away, a dog she named Lola.
Lola went missing after four teens carjacked the 80-year-old San Bernardino man outside a Mexican restaurant on West Hill Street, according to San Bernardino police.
Mittica said one of the carjackers threatened him with a knife when he stepped into his car with his pet shortly before 3 p.m.
“That arm came around from the backseat, and he’s yelling at me and screaming at me in my ear. He’s going to kill me,” Mittica recalled.
The carjacker ordered Mittica out of the car and took off with his dog still in the vehicle.
Lola is the last link for Mattica to his late wife, Sheila. The couple of nearly 50 years got the little dog just two months before Sheila passed away.
But shortly before CBS2/KCAL9’s Adrianna Weingold arrived to talk to Mittica Tuesday night, he learned that his 3-pound pooch had been found alive and well.
A good Samaritan found Lola and took her to a Riverside County animal shelter. Mittica said he will pick her up Wednesday morning.
The victim’s daughter was in disbelief. “At first when he told me the story, I’m thinking, oh, my God, the guy could have broke her neck and snapped her and threw her out the window. I mean, that’s how tiny she is,” said Mary Ann Schmidt. “That’s how quick it would have been.”
Police said a LoJack recovery system helped them locate Mittica’s car on the same day in Santa Ana after a pursuit.