Tahlequah Daily Press

August 6, 2013

Canine officer tracks, catches burglary suspect

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah’s canine officer Bo tracked down and helped other officers capture a man who was caught breaking into a local business early Saturday morning.

Events began to unfold when Officer Cory Keele was sent to the 4,000 block of South Muskogee, where the alarm at a U-haul business was sounding. Owner Larry Matlock pointed officers to a man who was running out the back of the business.

Keele began searching for the man – later identified as 21-year-old Devin Mitchell, of Tahlequah – and spotted him jumping over a fence.

Keele drove into a field, left his patrol car and began to walk around the area looking for the suspect. Mitchell then jumped up from the field and began to run. Keele chased Mitchell and tried to grab him, but the two became caught in a mudhole that was filled with water and Mitchell was able to escape. He ran toward the T-Bones’ building, and Keele continued the chase.

Officer Brad Robertson arrived and tried to cut off Mitchell with his car, but Mitchell pushed off of the car and continued to run through a field. Mitchell jumped another fence and allegedly ran into a trailer park near Willis Road.

Officer Pam Bell spotted Mitchell hiding near a fence, but Mitchell again ran when spotted.

Bell located Mitchell as he tried to hide inside a drainage ditch and then run into a field. Bo was released and began chasing Mitchell, but lost his footing in a drainage ditch, slowing him down long enough for Mitchell to enter a wooded area, according to Keele’s report of the incident.

Keele and Bo ran into the woods after Mitchell, and Bo caught the fleeing suspect, jumped up and knocked Mitchell to the ground, according to Keele.

Mitchell then began to yell that he gave up, and Bell and Officer Cody Warren were able to detain him.

Police said they found Xanax pills in Mitchell’s pocket, along with a bottle that contained a yellowish liquid that could not be identified. Police learned Mitchell was being sought for a felony warrant out of Tulsa County for second-degree burglary.

Keele said officers were able to obtain video that showed Mitchell riding a bike around the U-haul business and getting into a vehicle that was on the property. Mitchell left on the bike, Keele said, but returned to the business, which he allegedly ransacked.

Mitchell was booked into jail for second-degree burglary, resisting, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, destruction of property, and vehicle burglary.