Police say a young K-9 dog was responsible for helping police track down two suspects in a vehicle theft case Thursday.
Aerie, a two year old Belgian Malinois, was credited with the complicated but successful track of two suspects who fled on foot from a stolen vehicle during a pursuit by police.
According to APD spokeswoman Dani Myren, an officer in the area of Baxter Road and Northern Lights Boulevard early Thursday morning spotted a vehicle reported stolen on Wednesday. After following the vehicle, the two male occupants abandoned it and fled into the Baxter Bog trail area.
Aerie and his handler, Officer Lonnie Brown, responded to the scene and began tracking the two men through knee-deep water in the bog. One of the suspects, 23-year-old Allen Hoover, was quickly found by the k-9 team and was determined to have been the passenger in the vehicle. A continued search led Aerie and Officer Brown to Tayshee Circle, where they located the second suspect, 18-year-old Chaz Shanigan, hiding under the back deck of a home in the area.
Myren stated in an email on the incident that several times the trail for the two men had gone cold, but Aerie persevered, proving his skill once again for the Anchorage community. Aerie is also credited with finding a suspect who attempted to evade police after a home invasion in March.
Hoover faces charges of Criminal Mischief V, and was released Thursday on a $1,500 bail. Shanigan was released on a bail of $3,500 after being charged with first degree Vehicle Theft. The vehicle was returned to the owner following the incident.
Aerie was sponsored by the Dollars for Dogs program, and left home in Holland to join the APD in December of 2012.