Police dog Yogi tracks down suspect after string of incidents across the area since Thursday

Tuesday 29th August 2017 3:15 pm
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Kingsbridge Police: 'Good dog!' PD Yogi ()

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A police dog called Yogi was the hero of the hour on Saturday night after he tracked and located a suspect hiding near Loddiswell.

The suspect was arrested after a string of incidents starting on Thursday when a green Isuzu D-Max was stolen from a farm in Halwell.

On Friday, police received a call to say that the vehicle had been spotted looking at JCBs. When a Totnes officer went out to the call, they spotted a green telehandler in the Mounts. Thinking it was suspicious, the officer began to call in other units to follow the telehandler while he continued on to the call about the Isuzu.

As he was making the call, the driver of the industrial vehicle reverse-rammed the police car before the driver jumped out and jumped into a black Audi A4 estate and made off.

The Audi was spotted on Friday, as the driver dumped the numberplates, and although police managed to ‘sting’ the vehicle - puncture the tyres with a stinger - the vehicle again escaped.

On Saturday, the Isuzu was spotted around farms in Malborough and Salcombe, looking at JCBs and other vehicles, alerting police to the possibility that the freestanding cash machines at Malborough petrol station and Whitestrand could be targeted in a similar incident to Totnes Cross last week.

Local farmers created their own Facebook group to share information and attempt to track down the vehicle, sharing CCTV images and sightings. From there, police were alerted that the vehicle could be in Moreleigh.

The police found it but the vehicle made off again, this time they lay in wait at Loddiswell. When they spotted the vehicle it sped away, crashing into a parked car before smashing a pair of metal gates off the hinges near to the River Avon between Loddiswell and Woodleigh.

The driver made off and police called for the dog unit and the helicopter. This is when PD Yogi arrived with this handler, tracked and located the suspect, who was arrested on suspicion of the theft of the Isuzu D-Max. He has since been released under investigation.

Police are working under the assumption that a gang has been targeting farm vehicles, JCBs, tractors and telehandlers in the area, possibly connected to the ram raid and theft of the cash machine from Totnes Cross Garage in the early hours on Monday morning, August 21.

Police are still keen to trace the black Audi A4 Estate, especially if anyone has spotted one with flat tyres, acting suspiciously or someone changing the tyres or the plates. If you have any information, contact the police on 101, or 999 in an emergency, quoting crime reference CR/72501/17.

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