MASON COUNTY, Mich. — A new K9 member of the Mason County Sheriff's Office has seen his first success, just as 2019 was coming to a close.

The sheriff's office says that just before 3 p.m. on Dec. 21 deputies were called to an attempted break-in and a home located in the 2300 block of N US-31 in Sherman Township. Deputies met with the homeowner who said a man was prowling around their vehicle and outbuildings. 

While the homeowner was talking to authorities, a second person walked up and said the same man allegedly broke into their barn.

The sheriff's office says K-9 Diego was on-duty and responded with his handler, Deputy Ken Baum. Responding deputies set up a perimeter in an effort to keep the suspect contained to one area and Diego tracked the 26-year-old Fountain man for just under one mile. 

Diego found the suspect's discarded jacket and gloves along the way, following him up to vehicles and other residences as he ran. The suspect led Diego through heavy vegetation and a watery swamp because the K9 was able to flush him out to a Scottville police officer who was patrolling the perimeter in the area of US-31 and Decker Road.

Authorities were able to arrest the Fountain man on breaking and entering, trespassing and bond violation charges. He was taken to the Mason County Jail.

Diego is a 2-year-old Dutch Shepard. He started his training with the Mason County Sheriff's Office in the spring of 2019 and was put into service this fall, following the unexpected passing of K9 Cash. 

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