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Police dog finds suspect in ditch after home burglary in west Spokane

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 12, 2018

A Spokane resident locked herself in her bedroom and called 911 while a burglar rummaged through her home early Sunday, prompting a manhunt that ended when a police dog found the suspect hiding in a ditch.

According to a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, several deputies responded to the residence in the 2200 block of Government Way, near the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute, after the woman called 911 at about 5 a.m.

She reported she could hear footsteps and loud banging inside her home, and she stayed on the line with a dispatcher while deputies responded.

Upon their arrival, one deputy heard a crash and spotted a man with a bandana over his face trying to exit through the sliding back door while carrying several stolen items, the sheriff’s office said. The man ignored commands to stop and ran north into a stand of trees.

Deputies gave chase but quickly lost sight of the suspect, so they established a perimeter with help from Spokane, Airway Heights and Kalispel Tribe police officers, as well as state troopers. Deputies also checked on the victim to ensure she was safe.

A police dog, Bane, and his handler, Deputy Clay Hilton, were called in to begin tracking the suspect. Bane led deputies through thick brush and wooded areas, at one point finding a hat and coat that apparently had been discarded by the suspect.

Deputies shouted warnings until Bane led them toward a small ditch near the intersection of Government Way and Houston Road, the sheriff’s office said. The dog then “made contact” with the suspect as he tried to conceal himself in some tall weeds and brush.

The suspect was provided medical attention but would not identify himself and refused to answer questions, the sheriff’s office said.

At the Spokane County Jail, he was identified as Bryan T. Ferguson, a 42-year-old felon who was already wanted on a Lincoln County warrant for multiple counts of burglary, the sheriff’s office said.

Ferguson now faces additional charges of first-degree burglary, second-degree theft, second-degree malicious mischief and second-degree vehicle prowling.

This was the second time in a week that a sheriff’s office dog apprehended a suspect in a home invasion. On Nov. 5, a dog named Gunnar found a 27-year-old suspect hiding in the bathroom of a Spokane Valley home after a woman called 911 from the basement, where she had barricaded herself.

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