Police Officers and K9s Track Robbers

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On November 18, 2014 the ‘Life is Good’ store located at 514 State Street was robbed at gun point by a masked man at approximately 7:26pm. The suspect had leaned across the counter to get the money.

K9 Slim and Police Officer Carren Corcoran responded to the store approximately 45 minutes after the incident. K9 Slim picked up the robbers scent from the countertop and he tracked out of the store, up a block, to turn up a side street and then to an alleyway. K9 Slim tracked the length of the alley and came to a chain link fence. K9 Slim did not show a fence crossing and instead turned himself around and tracked back out of the alley. K9 Slim tracked up a block and turned into a large flat public parking lot- the Buckeye Lot. K9 Slim worked the entire parking lot and provided a car pick up indication in a particular parking stall in the center of the lot.

The district lieutenant began to view video footage of that particular parking lot at the time of the robbery and observed a silver SUV pull into the lot and back into the stall K9 Slim had provided a car pickup at. The vehicle had pulled into the parking lot moments prior to the robbery and quickly drove out a few moments later. The vehicle drove out southbound on W. Gilman Street. The vehicle did not have a front license plate and video cameras angle could not capture the back license plate. The vehicle did have a sunroof and dark wheel coverings.

Detectives then reviewed video footage of the Buckeye parking lot from a prior and similar robbery approximately 5 days prior to the November 18th incident. That track was done by K9 Falko and Police Officer Rose Mansavage. The track ended with a vehicle pick up in a church parking lot on the opposite side of the block where K9 Slim’s track ended. The video from that day also showed a silver Dodge SUV in the Buckeye Parking Lot around the time of that robbery. Based on the suspicious action and timing of the vehicle, coupled with both K9 tracks, detectives over the next two days began to research all the silver Dodge SUVs in the Madison area. They eventually located a Dodge SUV with sunroof and dark wheels registered to the parents of a known heroin addict who fit the suspect description. A search warrant was obtained to have a GPS placed on the vehicle.

Eight days later a store was robbed at gun point by a masked man and the GPS provided live information that the vehicle was near the location of the robbery. The Madison Police were able to locate the vehicle and make a high risk traffic stop. K9 Slim sniffed the vehicle exterior resulting in an alert to the odor of illegal drugs. Search incident to the K9 alert resulted in locating the gun and money from the robbery. The twin brothers confessed to all the robberies mentioned above. On November 18th the robber ran from the store and stood in the alley K9 Slim tracked down. The robber’s twin brother – the getaway driver–had dropped the robber off to commit the robbery and pulled into the Buckeye lot to wait. The previous armed robbery on State St. was conducted the same way, although the robber was dropped off at the other end of the Buckeye lot and picked up in the church parking lot.

Detectives were diligent in following up on the informational track provided by Slim which led to the video camera footage. This is due to their ongoing trust in the K9 units’ abilities.