A Garda dog true to his name hunted down a driver who fled a drugs search in which a luxury watch worth around €20,000 was seized.
Hunter, a German Shepherd, tracked down the suspect using his scent resulting in his arrest and likely charge.
The man’s Hublot watch, a luxury Swiss model, is estimated by Gardaí to be worth €21,000.
The incident happened in Northwood, Santry, north Dublin.
In a tweet sent out by Garda HQ, gardaí stopped the driver of a car on Wednesday for a drugs search.
It said gardaí noticed that the driver was sporting an expensive watch which they believed was “bought with the proceeds of crime”.
The statement said the driver managed to run off, adding: “With the help of our dog, Hunter, we located the driver and watch worth €21,000.”
The watch was seized and the man was arrested. The Garda statement said investigations were ongoing.
Such searches on the road using dogs are common, garda sources said.
The dog is a general-purpose dog, not a drug dog, sources explained. They are used to look for evidence that might be “contaminated” with human scent, such as items that have been thrown away by a fleeing criminal.
Sources said such dogs don’t look for a suspect’s scent as such, but for human scent where they shouldn’t be any – and can use a discarded item to that end.
This is particularly useful where there is a relatively defined area to search, sources said.
Last February, gardaí in Kilmainham, in Dublin's south inner city, arrested a man for theft-related offences after he was found in possession of a suspected stolen bike, torch and gloves.
Garda dog Roxy was able to link him to a bolt cutters which the suspect “forgot” he dropped in some bushes.
Garda HQ recently put up a video of a day with the Garda Dog Unit.
A day with the Garda Dog Unit. A behind the scenes look at a typical training day with our general purpose dogs and their handlers from the Garda Dog Unit. Roxy and her pals show off their amazing skills of detection through tracking and article searches. #GardaDogUnit pic.twitter.com/ODUp5M3Xgo— Garda Info (@gardainfo) March 31, 2020