A police K9 assisted officers in capturing a suspected church burglar after he refused to emerge from his hiding place in Santa Rosa, California.
In a statement, the Santa Rosa Police Department said it received an alarm call just after 3 a.m. Tuesday and dispatched officers to the Resurrection Parish located at 303 Stony Point Road.
When they arrived at the scene, officers saw a vehicle parked in the middle of the church’s grounds. As they approached the building, they heard voices coming from inside.
“Officers established a perimeter and prepared to search the premises. Before and during the search, officers made repeated announcements warning any occupants about the possible deployment of a police K9,” the release said.
Once police entered the building and located the suspect, he still refused to comply with their commands. They were then forced to deploy the K9, whose name is Kolt.
Despite the K9’s efforts, police had to use other means to detain the alleged burglar.
“An officer attempted to use a conducted electrical weapon, however it was ineffective. Officers used an expandable baton and personal body weapons to force the uncooperative suspect to the ground and secure him in handcuffs,” the press release said.
Following his arrest, the suspect was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries. He was later identified as 44-year-old David Pureco-Ortega of Santa Rosa.
Officers booked him into the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility and he now faces charges of burglary and obstructing a peace officer.
The department said their police dogs enable officers to perform their jobs well and are a vital part of keeping the community safe.
The Canine Team page read:
In many cases, just knowing the police canine is on scene and the threat exists of the canine being utilized to locate a suspect has caused suspects to surrender without confrontation or additional flight. This saves time, and has undoubtedly saved officers from injury or possibly death by having a desperate, sometimes armed criminal surrender without incident.
If the canine was not on scene the suspect may have chosen a violent confrontation with officers, or fled into the community at large rather than risk going to prison. Being able to apprehend these violent individuals quickly and safely brings an added level of safety to the citizens and community we proudly serve.
The most common breeds of police dogs are the Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, Bloodhound, Dutch Shepherd, and the Labrador Retriever, according to the American Kennel Club website.
“Police dogs are trained to bite dangerous suspects and hold them hostage. In many situations, they are the first ones to put their lives on the line and go in against an armed suspect to protect their human partners,” the site concluded.