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."
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