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K-9 Apollo tracks and apprehends burglar suspects

Posted on Friday, March 10, 2023 at 4:44 am

By Woodrow Polston

The Audrain County Sheriff’s Office received a call over the weekend regarding evidence of a burglary in Farber. During the mid-morning hours of Saturday, March 4, a property owner reported that they had received photos from a camera that depicted two people exiting the back door of their house along Audrain Road 572 in rural Farber. The property owner was not present at the time of the incident. A short time later, a deputy arrived in the area and an investigation led the deputy to believe the suspects were still in the area on foot. The deputy then requested K9 units to attempt to track and locate the suspects.
Sheriff Oller and K9 Apollo, along with Sergeant Chism and K9 Chal, arrived on the scene soon after. Once they were briefed on the situation, Sheriff Oller and K9 Apollo began a track on the property. A press release by the sheriff’s office detailed the results of the track.
“K9 Apollo tracked about a quarter mile to a wooded area east of the residence and located two suspects hiding under a culvert/bridge. Once confronted by the K-9, the pair surrendered without incident. Items taken form the residence were found in their possession.”
Arrested were: Jared M. VonVain, 22, Middletown, Missouri. Charges included second degree burglary and stealing; Kathleen E. Smith, 30, Middletown, Missouri. Charges included second degree Burglary, stealing, and possession of a controlled substance (Felony.)
Both suspects were transported to the Audrain County Jail where they remained at the time of the press release pending formal charges being filed. A third subject was detained and released as part of this investigation, and charges will be sought.
One year ago, on March 2, 2022, Sheriff Oller and K-9 Apollo had a similar successful track that led to the arrest of a suspect on foot. The incident involved a Missouri State Trooper who stopped a vehicle along US 54 for an observed violation. Once the vehicle had stopped, a male passenger fled on foot into a wooded area carrying an unknown object as he ran. During the tracking process, K9 Apollo located items that had been presumably discarded by the suspect, including a hat and a small briefcase containing methamphetamine and marijuana. K9 Apollo continued his track through the wooded area into a cut cornfield, and eventually they came within a few hundred yards of a man lying in the field. When the suspect saw K9 Apollo and deputies coming toward him, the man surrendered without incident.
The press release stated that the sheriff’s office continues its commitment to the communities of Audrain County.
“The Audrain County sheriff and his staff remain committed to working with our communities, community partners, and other area law enforcement agencies to make Audrain County a safe place to work and live.