K9 Pele Sniffs Out Teen Robber After He Mugs Woman Walking Home from Light Rail

Officer TJ SanMiguel & Pele, courtesy Petconnection.

A 16-year-old robber’s scent and shoes gave him away Tuesday after he robbed a woman at gunpoint in the Brighton neighborhood and then tried to hide under a boat. He was found by police a short time later, thanks to the keen senses of K9 Pele.

The 40-year-old victim was walking home from the Othello Light rail station around 9:30 PM when she heard someone running up behind her near the 4500 block of South Myrtle Street.

The suspect reportedly grabbed her, knocked her to the ground, took the woman’s purse, keys and lunchbox and struck her in the head. The woman told police that when she looked up at the masked suspect, he was pointing a handgun at her.

A witness out on a walk with her dog saw part of the incident and began shouting at the suspect, who took off running. SPD officers, the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter and K9 Officer TJ SanMiguel and Pele began searching the neighborhood for the man.

Pele soon zeroed in on a sunglasses case, apparently dropped or discarded by the suspect near the scene of the robbery, and took off on the teen’s trail.

Police followed Pele into the yard of a home in the 4600 block of South Frontenac Street, where officers saw a pair of shoes sticking out from underneath an overturned aluminum boat.

Officers arrested the teen and booked him into the King County Youth Service Center for robbery. Police were able to find the victim’s ID and credit cards, keys, phone and lunchbox from the suspect, and along his trail, and returned them to the victim.