CBSN

The tail end: Calif. police dog nabs suspects on the lam

AZUSA, Calif. -- Before a police chase on Monday, Rec, a suburban Los Angeles police dog didn't realize how much of a bite out of crime he'd be taking.

His day started when police investigating a burglary spotted a speeding car on the road, its occupants throwing objects out of the windows. A check on the license plate indicated the vehicle was stolen.

The West Covina, Calif., K-9 performed his duty assisting officers pursuing suspects in a high-speed chase, which went through several municipalities before the car crashed into a pole in Azusa. The three suspects dashed from the car and one of them hid in a backyard shed, CBS Los Angeles reported.

As officers lined up outside the shed with guns drawn, Rec ran into it and dragged the suspect, identified as Job Alonso, out by his arm. The two other suspects were taken into custody shortly after, but it was unclear if the three were involved in the burglary, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

"When these dogs are working, their tails are wagging; that's how you know they're happy," said West Covina Officer Matt Bowman, Rec's handler and partner. Rec has been with the West Covina Police Department since November. The 3-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois, a breed known for being smart, confident and hardworking, was born in Holland.

"Rec in Dutch means soldier or warrior, and I thought it was a fitting name for him," said Bowman.