SOUTHINGTON - A K-9 that served the Southington Police Department for nearly a decade has died.
Police on Monday announced K-9 Arno’s death, highlighting a track he was involved in that led to the arrest of three suspects accused of burglarizing 14 Target retail stores - some as far away as Florida and Texas. During the investigation, Target reported losing a total of $240,000 because of the crimes.
Arno was with local police from January 2010 until December 2019, when his handler, Officer John Mahon, retired. In addition to representing police in parades, at schools and special events, Arno and Mahon led many successful tracks of suspects for a variety of crimes.
In February 2015, Arno and Mahon began a track that started with a burglary at the local Target store, where the suspects used a torch to cut a hole in the door before burglarizing the business and fleeing. Despite the temperature only being 5 degrees, the duo tracked the suspects for two hours, crossing a river and a stream in the process.
“The relentless determination of the handler/K-9 team resulted in the location and capture of all three parties involved, which included the getaway driver,” Lt. Stephen Elliott said in a statement Monday.
Capturing the suspects helped the FBI close out cases involving 13 other Target burglaries in the Northeast, as well as Florida and Texas. The three men were also convicted of burglary charges in the Southington incident, receiving sentences that ranged from two years in prison to 30 months.
For their efforts, Arno and Mahon were awarded the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Tracking Award in 2015.
Elliott said this was just one example of “many successful tracks that Arno and Officer Mahon conducted that led to locating missing persons, burglars, car thieves and other criminals.”
“The Southington Police Department would like to thank Arno for his service and offer our sincerest condolences to Officer Mahon,” Elliott said.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.