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Police: K9 catches robbers

  |   July 16, 2010 at 3:26 PM
NEW YORK, July 16 (UPI) -- New York police said a hostage standoff between officers and robbers at an auto parts shop was ended in less than 2 hours thanks to the efforts of a police dog.

Police said the situation began at about 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, when two men and a woman with bandannas over their faces entered the AutoZone store in the city's Brooklyn borough and showed realistic-looking, but fake, guns to four employees and a customer, who were ordered to the back of the store by the bandits, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

Investigators said a passerby called police and the robbers sent an employee out of the store shortly after 10 p.m. to tell officers there was nothing wrong inside the shop but the worker's nervous behavior tipped police off to the real situation.

Police said the trio released the hostages about 11:30 p.m. and one of the male suspects tried to slip out among the workers, disguised in the manager's AutoZone shirt. However, he was apprehended and a police dog, Blaze, was sent inside to find the remaining suspects.

The dog discovered the pair hiding in the store's drop-down ceiling and the male suspect immediately surrendered but the female attempted to fight police, earning her a bite on the arm from Blaze, police said.

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