Footprints in snow, K9 help officers make arrests

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COEUR d’ALENE — Three men were persuaded by a police K9 to give themselves up to officers Thursday evening after a burglary near downtown Coeur d’Alene.

Officers recovered stolen items valued around $6,400, according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

Fred Kudrna, 22, of Hayden, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of felony burglary and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Virgil H. Hoopii, 27, of Coeur d’Alene, was arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy and burglary, both felonies.

Shane Krill, 23, of Coeur d’Alene was also arrested. Charges are pending.

Coeur d’Alene Police responded to the burglary in the 1600 block of E. Mullan Avenue after a property owner returned home and reported finding his house broken into, the suspects fleeing and leaving footprints in the newly fallen snow.

Using the police K9, and the aid of the footprints, officers found a man hiding in bushes near the burgled home and another man hid in the backseat of a car that was parked a block away. The vehicle was loaded with stolen items, Detective Jared Reneau said.

“They had removed quite a few things from inside the house that were found in the car,” Reneau said.

Stolen items included musical instruments — including guitars — musical and electronic equipment and jewelry.

A third man was found several blocks from the burgled residence hiding under the deck of a home, Reneau said.

Officer Justin Bangs’ police dog, Halo, persuaded a couple of the men to be taken into custody without incident, Reneau said.

“That was a smart decision,” Reneau said.

The dog and officer recently completed a six-week narcotic certification course, and before that Halo completed a K9 apprehension course, Reneau said.

Two of the men, Kudrna and Hoopii, had their first appearances Friday before a magistrate. They are being housed in the Kootenai County Jail.

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