On the afternoon of July 25, 2008, headquarters received a 911 report of an active home invasion on Grapevine Lane. Several minutes later, headquarters received an alarm notification that the Webster Bank on Webster Square Rd. was reporting an armed robbery. It was later learned that the home invasion call was a diversionary tactic employed by the robbery suspects, in an attempt to delay police resources from quickly responding to the armed robbery. The bank had, in fact, been robbed by two masked gunmen carrying semi-automatic pistols who stole nearly $50,000 in cash. Witnesses at the bank scene told investigators that the robbery suspects had jumped into a waiting car at the bank and fled the scene.
Five hours later, Officer Chase and K9 Zeusz were summoned to the scene to attempt a track of the suspects, based on information learned from a citizen. Officer Chase and K9 Zeusz began a track that immediately took a path towards a steep embankment, through heavy underbrush and shrubbery. The canine team climbed the embankment that led them to the southbound lanes of Rt. 9. Upon their return to the bank, Officer Chase announced that it was the path that the robbers used when they fled from the bank. Officer Chase and K9 Zeusz found several $100 bills on the path leading from the bank to the highway. Over $5,000 in cash, stolen from the bank, was recovered in the woods.
The next day, a ski mask dropped by one of the suspects was found hanging from a tree branch on the path. The mask contained DNA that was a contributory factor in the conviction of the two bank robbers.
In recognition of the Canine Team’s expertise in man-trailing and assistance in bringing the investigation to a successful conclusion, Officer Chase and K9 Zeusz are awarded the Department Service Award.