Will Lady Gaga’s $500K reward for stolen dogs put probe at risk? Ex-FBI agent says it 'opens a Pandora's box'
'It’s always been an option for opportunistic criminals. But…paying, no questions asked, can open up a Pandora’s box of sorts,' Frank Montoya Jr said
An ex-FBI agent has criticized Lady Gaga’s half-a-million-dollar reward for her stolen dogs because it puts police investigation at risk. Two of the three French bulldogs of the ‘Always Remember Us This Way’ singer were abducted by two Black men on the night of February 24 while the star was in Italy. The dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was walking canines Koji, Miss Asia and Gustavo, in West Hollywood at around 10 in the night when the incident happened.
The 30-year-old was even shot four times in the chest. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition where he is reportedly recovering.
To get her stolen dogs back as soon as possible, Gaga announced a reward of $500,000 to anyone who can help get them or return them. However, former FBI agent Frank Montoya Jr slammed the decision and told Daily Mail, “It’s always been an option for opportunistic criminals. But… paying, no questions asked, can open up a Pandora’s box of sorts. She should give the investigation a chance. After all, the dogs notwithstanding, a human being was shot.”
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However, Los Angeles-based Attorney Louis Shapiro, was in favor of Gaga’s reward announcement as he said, “This is an unusual reward amount. We don’t really know if this $500k reward is in fact a no-questions-asked offer. There’s no contract made here. It could just be a ruse to lure in whoever did this.”
The 34-year-old star, who is currently in Rome shooting Ridley Scott's new movie, ‘Gucci’, has not issued any statement, but her family said the incident has left her distraught. Her father Joe Germanotta said that the entire family is devastated after the dogs were dognapped as it feels like “someone took one” of their children.
He said, “Our whole family is upset and praying Koji and Gustavo are not harmed. Shooting someone in order to steal dogs is wrong.” Germanotta reportedly had numerous calls with his daughter as he told her, “Just try to be strong and remember that they’re together. They’re comforting each other.”
Gaga's grandmother, Angeline Germanotta, also issued a statement saying, “It’s a cruel world we’re living in. I’m praying this young man recovers, and I hope the dogs are found safe and in good health.”
She added, “The family is devastated. We’re all so upset because the dogs are two trusting animals, and why would anyone want to do something like this and seriously hurt that young man? It’s awful. I’m always devastated by anything bad that happens to my granddaughter. She’s a very unique and wonderful young woman. She cares a great deal about all her animals.”
Meanwhile, people on the Internet also came out in support of Gaga. One user tweeted, “don’t really like dogs. But I do love Lady Gaga. And I think the amount of money she’s spending is appropriate. GIVE HER DOGS BACK NOW.”
Another use wrote, “Surely this should read "Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot and her dogs stolen". A human being was shot. Hope he recovers and the dogs are returned safely.” “Just heard about your dog walker and beloved pets. Praying for your dog walker & that your pets will be returned to you safely & well,” a user added.
I don’t really like dogs. But I do love Lady Gaga. And I think the amount of money she’s spending is appropriate. GIVE HER DOGS BACK NOW 😩— Karina Sky (@_lovesCher) February 26, 2021
Surely this should read "Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot and her dogs stolen". A human being was shot. Hope he recovers and the dogs are returned safely.— JA Hosking (@juleshosking) February 26, 2021
Just heard about your dog walker and beloved pets. Praying for your dog walker & that your pets will be returned to you safely & well. 🙏❤️— Kimberly Broussard (@KimberlyBrous84) February 26, 2021