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Woman Robbed While Walking Puppy Downtown

(Memphis) An accused robber used an unsuspecting woman's dog against her to rob her at gunpoint.

James Collins is charged with aggravated robbery after police say the 20-year-old robbed a woman in the South Bluffs neighborhood near a trolley stop.

Teri Alford thought Collins and another man were just saying hello while she was walking her French Bulldog puppy Buttercup.

“It was Saturday evening and her last walk of the night,” said Alford.

It happened on Tennessee and GE Patterson. The other man even petted Buttercup.

“He said, ‘Is she going to bite me?’ I said ‘No, you're fine,'” Alford recalled.

But Alford says Collins took that as a cue that Buttercup wouldn’t attack him during his next move.

She says Collins pulled out a gun and demanded Alford give up everything she had.

“That was a pivotal moment in my life. I thought I might be shot. I might lose my life,” expressed Alford.

With a gun pointed right at her chest, Alford told Collins all she had was a cellphone, and handed it over.

“He said ‘Prove it.’ He wanted to see my pockets,” Alford said.

Collins and his friend took off with Alford's cellphone.

There are a handful of cameras in the neighborhood. All together, they give snapshots of the robbery.

Alford says they also show the two casing out the cars parked on the street.

But it wasn’t the cameras that nailed Collins. Alford says she got a hold of her call logs the next day and discovered Collins had made several phone calls.

Alford called those numbers, and that’s how police got James Collins' name.

Teri's happy Collins isn’t a threat to her now. She and Buttercup walk earlier and along a different route.

So far, the other man has not been named or arrested. Collins remains in jail on $100,000 bond.

Filed in: News

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