BELLFLOWER — Two of four show dogs in town for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show who were taken with a stolen cargo van Monday have been reunited with their owners.

The Akitas, Trace and Didi, were found along with the stolen cargo van in Compton.

Two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Bunny and Peter, remain missing, however.

The owners of the Akitas, Kristina Rickard and David Peek, were visiting from Redding to show their dogs and their clients' Corgis at the dog show in downtown Long Beach.

The pair had arrived at a Motel 6 in Bellflower around 11 p.m Monday and awoke around 6 a.m. Tuesday to find their cargo van was stolen.

Rickard's father, Tom Rickard, headed for Southern California the minute his daughter called him at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday.

He arrived Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning the van had been found in Compton and a woman came forward and turned in the two Akitas, said Rickard's mother, Lori Rickard.

"My daughter was so relieved ... she was just beside herself," Lori Rickard said, her voice quaking with emotion. "But we have to keep on until we find the Corgis."

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Diane Hecht said the dogs were reunited with their owners Wednesday morning.

Hecht said the van was taken into custody by the Sheriff's Department and


is being examined by fingerprint experts and checked for other possible evidence.

"The investigation is continuing," Hecht said Wednesday afternoon.

"I don't think they were after the dogs. I think they just saw a cargo van and thought there's high-priced stuff in there," Peek said Tuesday.

"We had them in the van because they have heavy coats. It's more comfortable for them to sleep outside where it's cooler. It's better for their coats too," he explained.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies are investigating the thefts and released little information on how the van and two Akitas were found.

The Corgis, like the Akitas, have microchips injected in their backs that help with identification and all area animal shelters have been notified of their theft, Peek said.