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K-9 Koda Joins Arrest of 2 Suspected Burglars in Chase Drama

El Cerrito's new police dog Koda made his first apprehension last night, Thursday, as police caught two burglary suspects hiding in backyards after they fled a home where they were discovered by returning residents, police said.

El Cerrito's joined the arrest of two alleged burglars last night, Thursday, as they hid in backyards after being discovered in a nearby home by returning residents, police said today.

Both suspects were described as male juveniles from Oakland, and two other male suspects who fled in a vehicle are still being sought, said police Captain Michael Regan. The car was presumed to be the vehicle used by the two burglars who broke into the home, Regan said.

The suspect caught by Koda suffered minor bite wounds and was treated and released at a local hospital, Regan said. It was the first apprenhension for the 2-year-old canine officer, who joined the force March 9 and just returned to active duty this week following a 200-hour drug-detection training program. 

Two homeowners returning to their home in the 700 block of Pomona Avenue about 6 p.m. discovered two burglars inside, Regan said. The burglars exited through a window and fled on foot, Regan said.

With the help of witnesses, including citizens who called in during the pursuit, police spotted the suspects on Richmond Street near Oak Street as they fled through backyards just north of an El Cerrito Plaza BART station parking lot, according to police.

Police set up a perimeter, and officers found one suspect hiding in backyard, while Koda tracked the other one to his hiding place behind an air-conditioning unit in another yard, police said.

The pair were found to be in possession of property taken in another burglary earlier yesterday in a neighboring city, Regan said.

Police are continuing their investigation, seeking the identity of the pair who fled in a car and identifying possible other burglary victims, Regan said. Other details of the crime or suspects were not released.

Captain Regan said the calls from residents during the pursuit provided valuable information that led to the arrests.

"I want to reinforce that helps a lot – when people call and get us that information," he said. "We want our residents to call us."

For other police-related news in El Cerrito, click "El Cerrito police" next to Related Topics below. For alerts to updates on future police-related articles, click Keep me posted.

John Stashik June 30, 2012 at 05:04 AM
We have a Jack Russell Terrier who would love to volunteer. She can catch perps, bite and then shake them violently. You JRT folks know about this. ECPD needs a pack of them!
Anne Nony Mouse July 01, 2012 at 07:39 PM
It's interesting what is included/omitted from the descriptions on the police blotter and, therefore, on Patch. The burglars were four black males, 18-years-old give or take, medium/thin build, short hair. They were primarily wearing dark clothing/jeans. The vehicle that the first two fled in was a burgundy/maroon older model sedan. (I guess they bailed on their "friends.") Keep an eye open, get to know your neighbors and watch for who and what does and does not belong on your block. Start a neighborhood watch and help El Cerrito get a reputation as a bad place to commit crime: http://el-cerrito.org/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1484
Eileen Andrade July 05, 2012 at 11:54 PM
The K-9 officers like Koda are very expensive. Hillside Community Church is having our annual "Accidental Dog Show" on Sunday, August 26th (co-sponsored by Alpha Pet Supply) and the Raffle and Entries, which are voluntary are going to be donated to the ECPD for the Benefit of Koda's expenses and to any further purchase of K-9 officers. We hope that you will all join us there! Eileen A.
Charles Burress July 06, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Reply to Eileen's comment above about the Aug. 26 benefit for Koda. Please feel welcome to list this on our events calendar. You could also add it as a "Save the Date" type of announcement, if you wish.
Anonamously from a neighbor July 09, 2012 at 08:51 PM
From a neighboring city, I say: WAY TO GO Koda, ECPD, & the citizens that were involved! That is absolutely awsome when we all can come together & work together to accomplish a commin goal. Things workout so much smoother. GREAT job everyone. Oh & what a beutiful officer Koda is! God bless all...peace

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