Crime Fighting K-9 Makes Critical Finds During Recent Robberies

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Westerville's only Police K-9 just marked one year with the force and capped it off with a successful week fighting crime.

10TV was there for the start of an average workday for Fiji and her handler, Westerville Officer Brian Schwartz Saturday night.  However, this past work week was anything but average.

This K-9 team was called into action on a robbery call.

According to the police report, an alleged thief "grabbed [the victim's] wallet off of the table and his daughter screamed that the male had just taken his wallet."

Police said there was a struggle outside the restaurant when the accused thief threw the wallet and then ran off.

“We actually saw the suspect when we were coming into the area,” said Officer Schwartz.

So, they trailed the scent back into a wooded area about a mile and a half from the restaurant and found the suspect.

“He was hiding underneath an overgrown deck area. He had climbed underneath there and was pretty far up underneath this deck and she went right to the corner of it and gave her alert, which is a bark and then she went back to the other side and was trying to bite the boards off the deck to get thru to show me where he was hiding at,” said Officer Schwartz. “There's no way we would have found him without the use of the dog.”

A day later, the K-9 team was again called into action at the Westerville Wal-Mart.

Police said a man threatened a loss prevention officer with a knife after stealing more than $100 in DVDs.

“He had ran thru the parking lot and there was a small brick enclosed area, where he had ducked back into and hidden. He had actually dropped the knife into the parking lot, in a grass area.”

Fiji helped recover the evidence and the suspect was arrested.