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Footprints in Snow Help Police, K-9 Officer Track Suspect in Bitterly Cold Conditions

Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue gives kudos to officers for cracking case while handling a high call volume on a bitterly cold New Year's morning.

A suspect in break-ins at a pair of Royal Oak businesses sustained minor puncture wounds after K-9 officer Ryker was deployed. (Patch file photo)
A suspect in break-ins at a pair of Royal Oak businesses sustained minor puncture wounds after K-9 officer Ryker was deployed. (Patch file photo)

Footprints in freshly fallen snow led Royal Oak authorities to 24-year-old Pontiac resident who allegedly broke into a pair of businesses in the 400 block E. Fourth St. in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

The suspect, who was not identified, will be charged with breaking and entering and malicious destruction of property. Police said in a news release that the suspect entered Digital Media Loft at 404 E. Fourth Street, stole property and damaged office equipment. After leaving the business he allegedly broke out a rear window of Avalon Films, a business located at 407 E. Fourth St.

Royal Oak officers responded to Avalon Films to investigate a breaking and entering alarm. When officers arrived on scene they discovered a broken window on the north side of the business. They also observed footprints in the freshly fallen snow leading away from the business.

Officers set up a perimeter around the area and Royal Oak Officer Richard Chipman and K-9 Officer Ryker began tracking the suspect. The track lead to the area of Phillips and E. Eleven Mile where the suspect was observed fleeing the area on foot.

Police said Ryker was deployed after the suspect ignored the officer’s commands to stop. The suspect suffered minor injuries, including puncture wounds from the dog bite, during his apprehension.    

Officers located property on the suspect and determined it was stolen from Digital Media Loft. Inside the business, they observed two Apple computers, a computer monitor and a printer had been destroyed. The suspect also allegedly discharged a fire extinguisher inside the building.

“I am continually impressed with the performance of my officers,” chief Corrigan O’Donohue said. “New Years Eve was an extremely busy night for us and all my officers did a great job. Despite the bitter cold and high call volume, the officers we able to successfully locate and arrest this suspect.”

The case is still under investigation.

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