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A suspect was arrested thanks to the work of a trusty police dog in Southwater near Horsham.
Police were alerted by a resident after a security light was set off on his driveway in Worthing Road at 2.30am on August 10.
The suspect reportedly wore a balaclava and fled the area after he was confronted.
PC Jamie Jackson from Surrey and Sussex Police’s Dog Unit attended and stopped the man nearby.
The officer saw the suspect discard items in a bush, but thanks to the help of PD Phantom he was able to recover the stolen items.
PC Jackson said: “On arrival to the area I saw a man walking towards me who matched the description we were looking for.
“When he saw my police vehicle I saw him throw something towards the shrub line at the edge of the pavement. I couldn’t see what it was other than it was small enough to fit into a hand.
“I stopped and searched him, finding lots of loose change and a black facemask. He was then watched by a local unit so I could be free to launch a search with Phantom.
“One of Phantom’s skills is finding items and property that has recent human scent on. The item that was thrown had obviously just been handled so I tasked Phantom to search the shrub line.
“After a short search Phantom indicated to me that he had found items. There were two bank cards and these were not in the suspect’s name so he was subsequently arrested for theft.”
A further search found the suspect, a 42-year-old local man, was in breach of a court order not to be on driveways or to be in possession of bank cards.
He was also arrested on suspicion of multiple thefts from vehicles in the area.
The suspect has now been released under investigation.
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