Lead thief caught out by police dog Troy
A THIEF stripping lead from the roof of one of the buildings at Blaise Castle got a nasty surprise.
Shortly after 2am on Wednesday, police were called to the popular landmark off Kings Weston Road after a report of someone being up to no good on the roof.
An alleged thief had been disturbed by security guards and run off before officers arrived.
However, he did not know that PCs Jim Hampson and Andy Vince were en-route with their secret weapon – police dog Troy, a four-year-old German shepherd with a formidable sense of smell.
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Arriving at the scene, PCs Hampson and Vince were met by officers from the response team and shown a pile of lead that had been stripped from the roof but left behind.
Troy quickly got a scent and they were soon hot on the heels of the suspect, tracking him to a car in Woodgrove Road.
Men in the car showed signs of having recently been running and had wet, muddy shoes. A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and bailed pending further forensic investigation.
PC Hampson, a dog handler for the force's Tactical Crime Unit, said: "Troy is trained to track offenders who may have fled the scene of a crime, sniffing them out even if they are hiding, be that in a building or outdoors. In this case the suspect had obviously left the scene but left his scent behind and unfortunately for him, that's all Troy needed."
Metal theft has been increasing nationally due to the global rise in metal prices making metal a very attractive commodity to both opportunist thieves and organised crime groups and is estimated to cost the UK over £1 billion pounds a year.