Buster the dog and the cat burglar

“What a lovely morning.” I was thinking as I drove to an industrial unit break in at 3am. This is why I like doing this job. How peaceful it is and how fresh it smells so early in the morning.

My thoughts are broken as I turn into the back entrance of the unit I had been called to. Police vehicles were everywhere. I pull into an empty spot and an Officer comes over to my drivers’ door.

“Can you give us a little more time? As we are still searching the building to find where the intruder got in.”

“No problem.” I said, “Just give me a call when you are ready.”

I must have dozed off because the sound of tapping awoke me to see an old friend, Inspector Prime, looking in at me. “Good morning young man! Nice to see you again. Would you like to come in now? I need your advice.”

I followed the Inspector in to the building, “We’re still searching for the intruder, but we also cannot see where they got in and thought that with your experience of windows and locks, you may see something that we have not.”

As I walked in with the Inspector I could see a Police dog keep coming back to the same spot in the warehouse. The dog handler calls to the dog, pointing for him to go searching in the direction he was pointing. The dog would go in that direction and again he would return after a token sniff.

“What is the matter with you tonight?” the dog handler asked the dog.

I go up to the Inspector and very quietly say to him, “Can I suggest that you make out that the Police are calling off the search and conceal themselves around this bit of the warehouse?”

I pointing to the area that the dog kept coming back to.

“I reckon I know where your intruder is hiding!”

The Inspector looks at me, then calls out in a loud, authoritarian voice, “Ok everybody. Stand down. This must have been a false alarm.” He moves away from where we are standing and we move to the exit door.

As his officers come to where he is standing he quietly indicates to them where he would like them to hide. With true professionalism, they quickly catch on to what he requires them to do.

When all his officers are in place he again, in a raised voice, thanked the key holder for his time and the lights are turned off. The door slams shut and is relocked.

We walked over to the Inspectors car as he tells the key holder what he is doing. When we reach his car he turns to me,

“Well, let me in to what you know. I have put a lot of faith into you and I hope I will not be disappointed!”

“I will explain to you what I know. Before I had this job, I worked in Dortmund for a bit where I trained police dobermanns.”

(This is a story I will tell another time)

“I also worked for a County Council as a maintenance security officer and was responsible for security dogs. This meant that I got trained at the Police Dog Training centre for three months which I really enjoyed as I have always had dogs.” I said.

“When we entered the warehouse I noticed that your Police dog kept coming back to the same place and kept scenting (sniffing the air). If you look up to the ceiling you would have seen a false ceiling. I think you are dealing with a true cat burglar that comes over roofs and through windows on the roof, coming down to the ground on a rope. All we have to do is to keep very quiet for twenty to thirty minutes and see what happens.”

He smiled, “That is a good story. I hope you are right!”

The three of us made ourselves comfortable in the Inspector’s car and waited. Unfortunately, I was wrong! The commotion inside the warehouse did not start for forty minutes. I was ten minutes off!

The key holder and Inspector ran over and unlocked the door. The scene in the warehouse we saw as he turned on the light was just like a film set. A rope was hang from the roof and pinned to the floor by three Police officers was a very fit burglar with a very excited Police dog standing alongside his head, tail wagging ferociously.

I was shown how to get on to the roof via the upper floor offices and when I got there I saw that a roof window had been removed. I refitted it.

As I returned to my van, I could see the Inspector speaking to the dog handler. On seeing me they both came over.

“Tell my James what you saw in his dog.” said the Inspector.

I turned to face James, “James, can I ask you when did you pass out from dog training school?” He looked curiously at me, “six weeks ago” he replied. I then told James what I had seen in his dog due to my previous experiences, which to his credit he found fascinating.

“You have a very good dog there that really cares about pleasing you. He is in his own way trying to tell you he has found something. Trust your dog.” I told him.

The Inspector thanked me for my help and we all went on our way.

Additionally, from that, James and I became good friends and would meet up as often as work would allow us. Buster his dog went on to be the top dog in the dog section for arrests but sadly was killed by a drink driver that ran into him whilst off duty and out for a walk. He was only nine years old with many years ahead of him.

James could not forget him and moved away from the dog section.

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Mick Edwards

Mick Edwards

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Glazier. Builder. Proud Scouter, husband and father. Doer of things. Owner of the oldest mobile number in the UK (according to Vodafone)!