A POLICE dog tracked down a suspected car thief who was hiding in a garden more than half a mile away from the crime scene.

Officers were called to investigate after reports of a Seat Ibiza being stolen in Middlesbrough.

Officers soon spotted the vehicle, which was taken at about 9.45pm on January 3, and a pursuit occurred, resulting in the driver fleeing from the car.

Rocky and handler Mo Rashad were called in to help, with the police dog tracking the suspect to the garden of a property about half a mile away.

A 14-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, driving without insurance, failing to stop and driving without a license. He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Rocky’s handler, PC Mo Rashad said: “This is an excellent example of how powerful and skilled police dogs are. Rocky managed to track the suspect in the garden of a property in a cul-de-sac straight away.

“Had it not been for the dog, it was highly unlikely the suspect would have been located due to where he was hiding. The result shows the importance of police dogs and how vital they are in the fight against crime. I am so proud of Rocky for his hard work in this incident.”