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FWPD K9 hurt after tracking armed robbery suspect

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- A Fort Wayne police dog was hurt after tracking a man who held up a gas station on the city's north side Thursday night.

"In eight years we have not been robbed, no hold ups at all," Adam Dager said.

That all changed at about 7:45 thursday night at his All-American store at Lima and Till Roads when a man came inside and looked around, then asked the clerk for packs of cigarettes.

When she asked to see the man's ID, he told her he needed to get it from his car.

But when he came back in, he took a gun out of his pants and pointed it at her.

If the man's coat or shoes look familiar to you and you know who he is, call Crime Stoppers at 436-STOP or 436-7867.

Dager says the clerk did exactly what she was supposed to do, then called police the moment the man ran off.

He says she's shaken but fine and will return to work.

But he's angry she was put through that ordeal.

"She's just working to pay bills, and to have her life threatened like that. That's the uniqueness of it, and really, for what? For what? That's where I really get agitated about stuff like this is it never makes sense," Dager said.

Dager says police had a good place to start looking for the suspect because the man left a Hansel and Gretel trail of packs of cigarettes that he dropped as he ran.

A fort wayne police dog tracked him over rough terrain that included boulders to a spot where officers found a mask that had been worn as well as a credit card.

The k9 lost the man's scent when the wind picked up, but dager hopes someone who sees his surveillance video will recognize the suspect.

"He had that moment in the parking lot where he could have definitely said, you know what? It's just not worth it. And for whatever reason, his impulses were to go through with it. And pulling that gun and putting it up to someone's face is a serious, serious thing," he said.

He says police returned the cigarettes they found and are keeping the mask and credit card for evidence.

The K9 had bad abrasions on his feet that were bleeding that his handler was able to treat.

He's expected to return to work soon.

Dager says a neighboring business also supplied police with security video.

"Let's get him off the streets, get him behind bars. He injured a K9 and could have hurt someone else," he said.

Take a good look at the man's coat and shoes.

If they or the suspect look familiar to you, call Crime Stoppers at 436-STOP or 436-7867.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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