Police dog nabs burglary suspect in Santa Rosa robbery

A suspected burglar who was captured by a police dog at a Santa Rosa Avenue auto shop early Thursday morning had to be hospitalized for treatment of wounds suffered during his apprehension, Santa Rosa Police said.

The dog was released when Richmond resident Syphanh Nitivong, 52, refused to surrender to officers who had been alerted to a possible break-in by an employee sleeping inside, authorities said.

The worker was awakened by someone smashing the glass office door at Chavez Motors and Classics, located south of Juiliard park, police said.

He called authorities, who surrounded the shop and could see someone inside ransacking the office, police said.

Officers confronted the suspect when he came out with a bag of what later turned out to be stolen property, but the man dropped the bag and ran back into the shop, police said.

A K-9 officer warned that he would release his trained dog if the man didn't surrender, but the suspect refused and the dog was let loose, police said.

The dog apprehended Nitivong as he attempted to hide under a car, injuring him sufficiently in the process that he had to be admitted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, police said.

Nitivong was arrested for suspected burglary, possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and violation of parole, and was released to medical personnel for treatment, authorities said.

Hospital personnel were unable to release information on his condition.

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