Police dog assists in arrest
With the help of his K-9 partner, Tracker, El Dorado County Sheriff Deputy Terry Fleck arrested a 19-year-old Modesto man Saturday on charges of felony auto theft, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a loaded firearm on a public street and possession of marijuana.
Fleck said he was responding to a 911 call about a stolen 1987 Ford pickup when he arrested Valerio Panduro at 1:16 p.m. on View Circle, off North Upper Truckee, in connection with the theft.
Sgt. Doug Pullen said the blue pickup was stolen from the 1900 block of Lake Tahoe Boulevard when the owner of the vehicle left it unattended and running.
Pullen said that the owner of the vehicle, who saw someone driving his truck away, got into another vehicle and followed the suspect westbound on Lake Tahoe Boulevard. When the suspect got the truck stuck in a snow bank at North Upper Truckee and Lake Tahoe Boulevard, he fled on foot and the owner continued to follow him.
After receiving the dispatch from the 911 call made by a cell phone, Deputy Fleck and the 95-pound German shepherd, Tracker, followed the footprints from the where the pickup was stuck in the snow bank to View Circle. Fleck said the footprints led him directly to the suspect.
“He had his hands in his front pockets and I told him to take them out where I could see them,” Fleck said. “He took one look at the dog and complied.
“Under the cover of Tracker, I was able to leave the protection of my vehicle and handcuff the suspect.”
Fleck said that in the suspect’s front pocket was a loaded Beretta, semi-automatic .22 handgun with the safety off. Also in the suspect’s possession was 10 grams of marijuana and a one-way bus ticket from Modesto to South Lake Tahoe.
Panduro was booked into El Dorado County Jail. Bail is set at $15,000 and arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.
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