Thanks in part to a Czechoslovakian Shepherd patrol dog named Bono, the suspect would not stay in hiding for long.
Westport Police were called to Sodom Road at 1:19 p.m. on June 19 after a witness reported seeing a man fleeing the property on foot. Officers arrived to find items strewn about on the ground, apparently left behind when the man left in a hurry after an alarm had been activated in the unoccupied house. Those items included a 42-inch flat screen television, laptop computer and a video game console.
Officers called the Bristol County Sheriff Department’s K9 unit for tracking help, and Deputy Chris Medeiros arrived soon with Bono, his K9 partner of two years.
Deputy Medeiros said he walked Bono around the area where the items had been dropped. Then, teamed with Westport officer Kyle Fernandes, they set out following Bono’s lead.
“Suspects typically don’t run in a straight line,” he said, and that was the case this time. The trail “led into and out of the woods, through briars — “we got muddy with him,” Deputy Medeiros said. Soon another witness reported seeing a man matching the earlier description so they knew they were on the right track.
Bono led the officers to a large barn behind 789 Sodom Road, then around behind the barn where they saw that a barn door latch was in an upright position.
Rather than let the dog in to search alone, Deputy Medeiros kept him leashed as they went inside.
“It was fairly dark, light streaming in in places,” he said.
Moving upstairs into what had once been a hayloft, officer Fernandes first glimpsed the suspect lying on the floor.
As Deputy Medeiros prepared to handcuff the man, he had Bono keep watch and cautioned the man not to move or Bono would attack. “He lay very still,” he added.
“It was a textbook track and arrest,” Deputy Medeiros said.
The witnesses provided good assistance, Westport Police “did a great job of protecting the crime scene — don’t contaminate the scene and let the dog do its work — and holding the perimeter … Nobody got hurt and the suspect was apprehended.”
The suspect was identified as Denham Wood, 34, currently of 30 Curtis Street in Brockton. He is a past resident of Westport who is known to police as having a long criminal history.
Lead investigating officer Michael Silvia charged Mr.Wood with four felony charges including two counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, larceny over $250, and malicious destruction of property over $250. He was held on $1,500 cash bail and transported to the Bristol County House of Correction Ash Street Facility.
The Westport Police Department is also pursuing additional charges against a second suspect connected with the housebreak.
“This housebreak suspect was apprehended with the assistance from the community who immediately reported suspicious activity along with the quick police response,” said Detective Ryan Nickelson.