Top Police Search Dog Helps Nab Suspected Car Thief In San Leandro

SAN LEANDRO (KPIX 5) – A San Leandro police dog honored for his performance in a recent K-9 competition showed off his effectiveness on the job by helping nab a suspected car thief.

Rohan and his handler, Officer Dennis Mally, have been working together for two years. Recently, they hit it big at the San Leandro and Alameda Police Canine Competition.

“He scored a perfect score, 400 out of 400 on the open area search and found the suspect who was hiding in the car in 12 seconds,” Mally told KPIX 5.

That theoretical test got put to practical use. A car was reported stolen on Victoria Avenue. Officers said they quickly caught up with the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Juan Amezquita, only to have him take off again.

“They flee from the car and start jumping through some backyards in a neighborhood,” Mally said.

That’s when Rohan went to work, tracking the man from yard to yard on Dutton Avenue, before finding the suspect hiding in a shed. Authorities said he was high on meth, with a stolen gun and bulletproof vest.

Police said the man tried to run, but he was brought down by Rohan.

“For dogs, they like to go out and find things, whether it be suspects or guns or drugs. And if they find them, they get rewarded pretty well with their favorite toy,” said Lt. Mike Sobek of the San Leandro Police.

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