How police K-9s found 3 guns in less than one week
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBS 12) —
New tactics to get guns off our streets – before they end up in the wrong hands.
Police in Port St. Lucie are turning to canine crime fighters for help.
“The dogs are capable of finding a needle in a haystack, so to speak,” said Officer Will Harris, Port St. Lucie Police.
Harris sometimes can’t believe what his K-9 Oliver can do.
In less than a week, the 9-year-old dog found two handguns believed to be thrown by fleeing suspects in Port St. Lucie.
Another K-9 Dingo and his handler Officer Robbie Gibbins also found a handgun.
We had an officer plant a camera by the gun, to demonstrate the recovery.
“It doesn’t take ‘em very long once you get ‘em into the area,” said Officer Robbie Gibbins, Port St. Lucie Police.
Police say two of the guns that were found were used in a drive-by shooting on Monday July 10.
Another gun was found after it was thrown from a car July 7. Police say the driver failed to stop when police tried to pull him over for a traffic violation.
“The dog just merely uses the wind current and his sense of smell,” said Officer Harris.
The dogs can find guns in two ways. Because of the human scent still on the gun from a person handling it. And from the scent of gunpowder on the gun.
“If the gun has a bullet in it, even just one. Or the gun has been fired where there’s gunshot residue on the firearm, he’d be able to detect that,” Officer Harris explained.
Port St. Lucie Police say it’s important to find these guns because they’re valuable evidence and they don’t want them to fall into hands of kids.
“Any child could’ve walked down the street, located this gun while they were playing and picked it up,” Officer Gibbins said.
Police say the dogs can find an item as small as a penny, from the human scent on it.
When looking for a gun, they want to get out there within 2-3 hours if they can, while the human odor on the gun is still fresh.
But even if it rains, the K-9 may still be able to find the gun a couple of days later because the smell of gunpowder is still on the gun.