Canton canine tracks down armed robbery suspect

By Candace Hall
Tue Dec 15, 2009, 08:49 PM EST

Canton - Canton’s new police dog helped to nab an armed robbery suspect in Dedham last week, leading police to the house the suspect had fled to, as well as the weapon that allegedly was used during the crime.

Police later arrested the suspect.

On Dec. 8, Canton Police got a call from Dedham Police Department, asking for assistance from “Bosco,” a 22-month-old Dutch German Shepherd, and his handler, Canton Police officer Scott Brown. A convenience store on High Street had just been robbed, and police needed assistance in tracking the suspect, who had fled.

When the team arrived, Brown was told a man had robbed the store, threatening the store clerk with the knife, and had fled down High Street. The clerk had tried to follow the man, but lost sight of him.

Dedham Police had apprehended a suspect, but weren’t sure if he was the right man. That’s when Bosco went to work.

The dog was led to the area from which the man had fled and picked up his scent. He led Brown about one-quarter of a mile down High Street and then took a right to a driveway. From there, he went across the backyard of a house, over a fence, to another house, and went to the side door.

“At that point, we had a good indication that the man had fled there,” Brown said.

Bosco then went under the deck and laid down, which is a sign that he had found something. The dog crawled under the deck, and found a knife that had been buried under debris – the same knife that allegedly had been used during the robbery.

“He did a great job,” Brown said. “This confirmed that this was the location. He got the knife under the deck, and this provided evidence.”

Bosco arrived at the Canton Police Department about a year ago after Brown picked him up from West Virginia. He came from Europe, and was bred for law enforcement.

Brown has worked constantly with the dog since he came to the department. The dog lives with Brown, his wife and three children in their Canton home.

“He’s terrific,” Brown said. “He sleeps three feet from the kids.”

The Canton Police Department had a police dog about 25 years ago, but did not get another one until Bosco arrived. Though Police Chief Kenneth Berkowitz had wanted one since becoming police chief, the department could not get one because of the cost. The dog, which cost $6,000, needs its own police cruiser as well as training.

The department finally was able to get Bosco after receiving a sizeable donation from the Dadasis Family Foundation in the summer of 2008.

The dog now is trained in search and apprehension and search and rescue, and may be trained to detect narcotics in the future. For now, police are pleased with the dog’s performance, and confident that he’ll continue to a great asset to local police departments as well as the community.

“I’m sure this will not be the only bone in Bosco’s career. But it was a good find that led to an arrest,” Berkowitz said.

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