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12 June 2011 at 11:47 - Posted by Anonymous

Canine crime-fighter nabs hijacker


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Two police cars, multiple helicopters and more than a dozen officers on foot joined the pursuit of three hijackers all the way from Cleveland to Alexandra.

Two police cars, multiple helicopters and more than a dozen officers on foot joined the pursuit of three hijackers all the way from Cleveland to Alexandra on Thursday.

But it was the lone dog from the canine unit, Jason, which finally nabbed one of the men.

The drama started shortly before 10am when three men confronted a woman outside her Cleveland home.

They snatched her ring and drove off in her Nissan Tiida. She was not hurt, said police spokeswoman Captain Katlego Mogale.

The woman phoned the police, and an SAPS helicopter making its rounds above the freeways spotted the stolen car on the N1.

More helicopters from the Joburg Flying Squad flew in, while two cars from the Joburg Canine Unit starting pursuing the hijackers on the ground.

Weaving through the traffic, the hijackers managed to hold police off for dozens of kilometres into Alexandra.

The hijackers abandoned the Tiida on the corner of 8th Avenue and Roosevelt Street, fleeing into nearby houses.

Jason, not particularly suited to the car chase, sprung into action.

He darted through the yards, chasing after the fleeing men. He targeted the house where the bad guy lurked.

But Jason had unwittingly entered another dog’s turf. The dog resting in the yard lunged at Jason, crunching into his belly.

But the bite didn’t get in the way of duty. Jason ran into the house, almost instantly finding the suspect, who was hiding behind a sofa.

Police arrested the man, and found a pistol with the serial number sawn off.

The man will be charged with possession of a hijacked vehicle and armed robbery.

An elderly woman was the only other person in the house. A source familiar with the investigation said she was from Limpopo and was visiting relatives. She was slightly traumatised but not hurt.

The other two suspects remained at large.

“Alexandra is a small, congested place. You’ll get lost easily. It’s a matter of going through one house and jumping and then you are gone,” Mogale said.

“The degree of difficulty of chasing someone in Alexandra is 10 times that of chasing someone in Sandton.”

Jason’s handlers took him to a vet for a check-up, and police sources said his bleeding wound did not look too bad. - The Star

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