Daxa on the trail

PSD Daxa. Photo courtesy Constable Kelsey Bighetty.

A police dog helped officers track a break-and-enter suspect early Tuesday morning, following the scent for blocks to where they made an arrest.

Police responded to a building alarm Tuesday at 1:52 a.m. A business, located on the 400 block of 13 Street East, had been pilfered of a computer monitor, alcohol and an undetermined amount of cash.

The suspect, however, was nowhere to be seen. There were footprints in the snow, but they faded into a confused tangle of other tracks.

That’s when Police Service Dog Daxa sprang into action. Her handler, Constable Kelsey Bighetty, explained how she works.

“She doesn’t track the footprints,” he said. “There are dead skin cells that fall off a person, it’s happening all the time, and that’s what they follow.”

Bighetty brought Daxa to the suspect’s last known location, and told her to start a track.

“She will stay with that track until the end,” he said.

“If there are other people, we call that cross track, she won’t follow that.”

Daxa took the officers to a house just a block away, on the 400 block of 12 Street East.

“That was an area where a suspect had gone and continued north,” Bighetty said, “so we kept going. She was still able to pick up the exact same scent and continue.”

They reached another building, on 9 Street East. Daxa started barking, and led officers to a window.

The suspect, a woman, was in the very same room.

Bighetty said it takes years to train a dog like Daxa…

For more about PSD Daxa, please see the Jan. 25 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.