Two generations of police dog made catching a group of burglars in Upper Hutt a family affair yesterday.
While police dog Quita had a bit more to do with it, the group of offenders wouldn't have been nabbed if it weren't for her mother, Xylah.
An off-duty officer who only wanted to be named as Mark stumbled across the scene of the crime while taking Xylah, a retired police breeding dog, out for a walk in the early hours of the morning.
Mark takes Xylah for walks at such an odd time because she can be aggressive toward other dogs, so walking when there are no others around is easier.
Thanks to this, the pair were out for a stroll at 3.50am on McParland St in Elderslea when they came across four young offenders fleeing the scene of a home burglary.
"Basically I was just taking my dog for an early morning walk, which I do quite frequently. I'd just turned onto McParland St, next thing a house alarm went off. Next thing these four figures just come barrelling out of a driveway . . . and proceeded to run in an opposite direction to me."
Mark didn't think the group saw him, though if he had been three or four seconds ahead they would have run into him.
He immediately got on the phone to police comms, and officers were able to catch the offenders.
"I unfortunately had to wait on the cordon for an hour, then I got a call to say that I could carry on."
One of the dogs brought in to catch them was Quita, one of Xylah's pups. Mark estimated Quita to be about 4-5 years old.
It was "quite nice" to know Xylah's pup had been involved. "It's an interesting twist, if you like, to the story."
Xylah has produced two or three operational pups, but Quita is the only one in the Wellington region.
A police spokeswoman said four juveniles were arrested for the burglary.
Two males, aged 16 and 15, have been charged with burglary and are due in the Hutt Valley District Court today.
The other two have been referred to Youth Aid.