CONTACT:
C.O. Mark Hensel: (603) 271-3361
Liza Poinier: (603) 271-3211
October 27, 2006

Fish and Game K-9 "Poacher" Catches Truck Thief in Wolfeboro

NEWS MEDIA: Click on thumbnail to download a print-quality version of the image of CO Hensel and Poacher (2.5 MB). Credit: NH Fish and Game
CO Mark Hensel and Poacher

CONCORD, N.H -- On Wednesday, October 25, 2006, tracking K-9 "Poacher" located a man who allegedly stole and abandoned a truck in Wolfeboro. According to a witness, the suspect, Joshua Smart, age 27, who is from the Wolfeboro area, stole the Chevy pickup truck at about 2:45 in the afternoon.

According to Poacher's handler, Conservation Officer Mark Hensel of N.H. Fish and Game, the witness had followed the stolen vehicle and placed a call to local police. As responding units arrived and N.H. Fish and Game was called to the scene specifically for Poacher's tracking abilities, the witness reported that the vehicle had been abandoned on Bryant Road and the subject had fled on foot.

"Poacher and I arrived on the scene shortly after the subject fled, and conducted a track, starting from the driver's door of the stolen vehicle," Hensel said. "The track led into the woods and through a nearby swamp. After searching in knee-high water and high grass, Poacher located the subject, who had been lying in the grass and water in an attempt to hide himself."

Smart was arrested and charged with Theft by Unauthorized Taking, Driving While Intoxicated, Reckless Operation and Driving Under Suspension. The truck was returned to its owner. The Wolfeboro Police Department will be prosecuting the case.

Poacher is N.H. Fish and Game's only K-9 and was trained by C.O. Hensel. He has participated in dozens of law enforcement and search-and-rescue missions since November, 2003. Poacher is certified by the U.S. Police Canine Association in tracking, evidence recovery, agility, obedience and fish detection.

No further information is available at this time.

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