Suspected burglar caught out in Calne by off-duty police dog


AN off-duty police dog handler and her dog tracked a suspect following reports of a man interfering with vehicles and acting suspiciously in Calne on Friday afternoon.

Wiltshire Police received a call shortly before 4.30pm on Friday 8 April 2016 reporting a man acting suspiciously, having walked into a house in Buzzard Road, Calne. He was also reported to have been acting suspiciously around vehicles in the area.

PC Cindy Hargreave was driving near Compton Bassett with her PD Tyke on her day off, having made a visit to Wiltshire Police Headquarters in Devizes.

When she heard over the radio in her vehicle that a man had made off from the scene of an incident nearby, PC Hargreave attended in plain clothes, and Tyke, a four-and-a-half year old German Shepherd, jumped into action.

The pair tracked from Buzzard Road to Duncan Street and on to Hungerford Road where they located a man matching the description given. They also located a broken aerial from a vehicle parked near the incident and the suspects hoodie behind a wall in a nearby garden.

The man, aged 21, from Chippenham, was arrested on suspicion of burglary and possession of a Class A drug. He has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

PC Hargreave, who has been a dog handler for three-and-a-half years, said: “As a dog handler, this is the kind of job you dream of – a crime in progress at a location just five minutes away. Even though I was off duty, there was no way I was not going to attend.

“It was a difficult location for Tyke to track as it was a hard surface around a housing estate but he tracked to the offender, and then tracked to his belongings further on down the road, so it was a great result.”

Tri-force Specialist Operations Dogs Inspector Dave Eddy said: “This was brilliant work by PC Hargreave and Tyke, who were able to successfully track through the streets of Calne to locate the suspect as well as his clothing and an aerial believed to have been snapped from a vehicle.

“This is a fine example of how important our dogs are – General Purpose dogs like Tyke are able to track across vast areas and locate offenders within a short space of time. This is the sort of incident our dogs train for so it is great when they are able to put their skills into action.

“However, it is not often that it happens while they are off duty – PC Hargreave was wearing her wellies at the time but was still able to track to the suspect with Tyke. Their excellent work has led to the successful arrest of a man on suspicion of burglary and possession of a Class A drug.”

Any witnesses to the incident who have not already spoken to police, can call 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously if preferred.

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