COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Police dogs helped track down a teen suspected of breaking into several cars near Briargate overnight.
The 18-year-old was found hiding in a nearby yard.
Police were called around 2 a.m. Monday on a reported burglary happening in the Windjammer neighborhood, located near Research Parkway and Union Boulevard. The first officer to get on scene spotted a man dressed head to toe in dark clothes.
"One of the first responding officers located an unknown subject at that time. He gave chase and the suspect went into some neighboring yards," said CSPD Sgt. Judd Tyson.
"From there, we were able to set up a pretty good perimeter area, and our K-9 unit found the suspect in one of the backyards."
Police praised K-9 Ozzie, saying he showed "tremendous patience, skill and tenacity" while meticulously sniffing out yard after yard for more than an hour.
"I woke up at 3:50 and heard voices in my backyard, yelling. I looked out the window and I saw a policeman with his K-9 yelling at someone on my back porch to stay still," said Richard Hedlind, whose backyard the suspect chose as a hiding place.
He got his family and made sure they were all away from the windows, "in case there was a shooting."
The suspect, who police say they've identified as Skyler Vincent, ultimately went into custody without further incident. Police are now trying to figure out if he's the only one allegedly involved or if there are others.
Police say at least 10 cars were burglarized, possibly more. Hedlind wasn't sure if his car had been hit at the time 11 News spoke with him, but another neighbor said his was. He didn't know until officers knocked on his door.
"They told us that they actually found the doors open to my car," Brian Ramirez said. "Everything was just in disarray. All my stuff was taken out and drawn all over the place. Luckily, I kind of keep my stuff, important, inside the house so nothing was stolen."
Vehicle break-ins have been a growing problem in recent weeks. Last month, the Monument Police Department reported a rash of break-ins in the community, with 14 vehicles targeted between the end of March and mid-April. 11 News also reported a a string of break-ins in several Colorado Springs neighborhoods in late March.
In late April, crooks were caught on camera strolling through an east Springs neighborhood looking for easy targets. They broke into several cars that had been left unlocked.
Tyson said the problem is only going to get worse.
"We're coming into the summer season, tourist and whatnot, and we have huge problems with car break-ins throughout the summer.
His advice, you've probably heard many times before. But with so many continuing to fall prey to crooks, it bears repeating.
"A: lock your doors if you don't want anything stolen. And then don't keep anything of value inside your vehicle."