Bad guys beware.
Maddy, a 3-year-old Bloodhound, and her partner, Murrieta police K-9 Officer Travis Shows recently tracked down a man who had allegedly attempted to rob a bank just hours earlier.
It happened Wednesday in Ontario. Shows said he was called in to help find the alleged culprit because the Ontario Police Department does not yet have a Bloodhound.
Once Shows and Maddy arrived, he presented her the scent from a demand note left by the suspect.
"The scent is specific, it comes from the invididual we are looking for," Shows said. "It can come from a simple shoe print in the dirt, from lipstick or from a toothbrush. I present the article, I give her a command to 'find it,' and that is her cue to go to work."
In the Ontario incident, Maddy tracked the scent obtained from the demand note to the suspect's former residence about a mile and a half from the Wells Fargo branch, Shows said.
From there, police were able pin down his whereabouts and place him under arrest, Shows said.
As for being called out for mutual aid, Shows said Ontario PD made wise moves within minutes of the attempted heist.
"They understood how the Bloodhound works, that's the main thing. It was the way they preserved the evidence, the way they shut down the crime scene. They gave me every resource to do my best."
The Murrieta Police Department has a K-9 unit that consists of Belgian Malinois and one Bloodhound, Maddy.
Shows, who has served on the Murrieta police force for almost 10 years, said he owes his knowledge of Bloodhounds to Riverside County sheriff's Lt. Coby Webb.
He trained with her in 2008 when he signed on to be the Police Department's first Bloodhound handler.
"She has done an excellent job," Shows said. "She has taught myself and several others how to use a Bloodhound and what to look for."
The Sheriff's Department has two Bloodhounds, he explained.
"We rely on one another as a team. Sometimes they'll help us and sometimes we'll help them."
Member of the Family
When not on the job with Shows, Maddy lives with him.
"She has a bed in our house just like everyone else," Shows said. "My house is already comprised of five women—she's the sixth."
Maddy came to the department in May 2011 after Shows lost his first Bloodhound to kidney failure.
"Sometimes I don't know if she's taking care of me or if I'm taking care of her."
While Shows said it felt good to aid in the arrest of the Ontario bank robbery suspect, those aren't the cases that matter the most to him.
"Suspects are a dime a dozen and I'll put away as many bad guys as I can," Shows said. "But when it comes to missing persons, I'll drop everything. Because that's someone's mom or dad or son or daughter. I'll try to save as many lives as I can because that is exactly what I signed up for."