Police dog plays vital role in catching men from Letchworth breaking into Stevenage garden centre

Blue the police dog played a vital role in catching two men from Letchworth who tried to break into

Blue the police dog played a vital role in catching two men from Letchworth who tried to break into Stevenage Garden Centre. - Credit: Archant

A pair of men from Letchworth have been sentenced for their part in a break-in at a Stevenage garden centre.

The two men were caught trying to get into the Wyvale Garden Centre in Graveley Road by a police dog called Blue and his handler from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit.

Both men appeared at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court with 28-year-old Ashley Banks, of Boscombe Court pleading guilty to burglary on Wednesday, March 2.

He was sentenced to prison for six weeks, suspended for 18 months, and made subject to a supervision order – he must also pay a £80 victim surcharge and costs of £85.

Twenty-six-year-old James Dorkacz, of Grange Road, appeared at court on February 8, pleaded guilty to burglary and was made subject to a community order and made to pay a £60 victim surcharge and costs of £85.


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On the night of the break-in – which took place on Jaunary 17 – the men were tracked for three miles after items from the garden centre and clothes belonging to the pair were found in a nearby woods.

The German Shepherd and his handler followed them across a stream and into a nearby housing estate, before cornering the men in a garden in Pondside where they were arrested.

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Sgt Vicky Stoughton from the BCH Dog Unit said: “This is exactly the type of incident our dogs and handlers train for and I am very pleased our team was able to provide assistance, which lead to the arrest and charge of the two men involved.

“Three miles is a substantial track, made even more difficult by the time of night, and Blue’s handler should be very proud of their work as they not only apprehended the offenders, but also secured vital evidence along the way.”

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