At approximately 1:30 am on the 17th of September an armed home invasion was reported to a local Neighbourhood Watch. Four armed suspects had entered a property, tied up the victims and stolen various valuable electronic items. The suspects left via the back of the property on the mountainside and made their escape.
Boo and her handler responded. When on scene it was realised that no footprints could be found due to the hard surface type, but some grass had been trampled where the suspects had hid. Boo scented off that spot and found the exit trail of the suspects, tracking them.
Unfortunately because the victims had to untie themselves before they could find security and raise the alarm, we were already somewhat behind. Boo however managed to find their trail and direction of travel was identified. We alerted the Tactical Response Team and they went to the expected exit routes. Unfortunately although footprints and tyre tracks were found, the suspects had already managed to make their escape.
For such a young dog Boo is showing amazing potential and we are looking forward to seeing her progress and mature into the work she truly loves to do! Assisting with this callout, identifying the exit trail and direction of travel and also some valuable evidence along the way shows the value trailing dogs can provide! Next time we will be hot on their heels...
IMPORTANT SECURITY ADVICE
These types of home invasions are an unfortunate reality of life in South Africa. Suspects take advantage of residents comfort in their homes watching them closely and picking up patterns of behaviour before taking the opportunity to attack. Taking some precautions as below may help:
Always activate external security beams in the evening. This is a high risk time and will provide an early warning of intruders trying to enter your property.
Close curtains and blinds so that suspects cannot watch your movements. They hide in the dark whilst you are highly visible in a lighted house.
Have panic buttons strategically placed and linked to an armed response company. Check regularly!
Ensure electronic devices have tracking enabled.
If something seems out of place call your local neighbourhood watch, SAPS or security company immediately. This can prevent a home invasion down the road from you.
Join your local Neighbourhood Watch and work closely with them to improve security of the neighbourhood through installation of CCTV and other early warning systems.