Thanks to Police Dog Nero, Whyalla Police will now have an advantage if they get into a foot race with a wanted man last sighted in the steel city.
Nero, a black shepherd, has been brought down to Whyalla to assist police with a number of operations – including the search for a man who has committed multiple criminal offences around the state.
The man, who is aged in his 30s with red hair and a red beard, was reportedly sighted near the Whyalla Caravan Park earlier this week. As a result, local police and Nero have extensively searched the area.
Operations Inspector Mark Hubbard said the police dog had a good sense of smell, which was ideal when tracking a person through built up areas or scrub land.
“I wouldn’t want to challenge this dog to a foot race,” he said.
“We don’t know where this man is, it’s possible he’s not in Whyalla at all. But we ask anyone who sees someone matching his description to please avoid approaching him and notify police.”
Whyalla Police were put on high alert after a Toyota Hilux, stolen from Port Lincoln, was recovered in Jameison Street on Monday.
The theft of a green Mercedes station wagon from a Port Lincoln fast food outlet just before noon on Monday is also believed to be linked to the man’s series of crimes.
“The previous MO of this man is to steal vehicles, but the reality is that he has various options available to him such as hitchhiking. We can’t rule out the possibility that he has already moved on from Whyalla,” Mr Hubbard said.
The man’s female accomplice, a 21-year-old Victorian woman, has been charged with a number of offences including aggravated serious criminal trespass, theft, unlawful possession and illegal use of a motor vehicle.
The public should report any sightings of the suspect immediately to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.