Oak Grove’s new K9 officer already making a big difference

OAK GROVE, Mo. -- A new member of the Oak Grove Police Department is proving to be a big help.  Monday, the department's new K9 officer helped nab a wanted suspect.

Monday morning, a car was stolen from the QuikTrip in Oak Grove.  Police say they tracked the vehicle's GPS to a remote neighborhood near the county line at NE 3rd and Campbell Streets.

Police K9 officer Merlin picked up the suspect's scent and followed the suspect's footprints through the snow to a mobile home. Officers went into the home and found the suspect curled up inside of a closet.  The homeowners didn't even know he was there until Merlin alerted them to the suspect, who was taken into custody.

Oak Grove Police said this is the third time since getting the new dog about a month ago, that K9 Officer Merlin has been able to assist in a felony arrest case.

"It's amazing, really.  To be honest with you, I think he's already saved our life once, because the last guy we had hiding was in a basement lying on a gun and told us he wanted to kill us, and that we deserve to die like the Clinton Police officers did.  But he saw the dog, and gave up," said Oak Grove Police Ofc. William Anderson.

Police have not yet identified the suspect in Monday's arrest, only saying it is a 36-year-old man from Odessa who will now be facing multiple felony charges.