A Georgia K-9 officer named Apex has received well-deserved praise, and a steak dinner, after successfully apprehending four criminals in just 30 days.
Apex’s fourth catch took place on Aug. 10 when he helped track down a wanted fugitive hiding under a trash can behind a closed business. The suspect had been involved in a police chase and crashed a Porsche, believed to be stolen, into an express-lane entrance.
He attempted to flee on foot but couldn’t escape Apex’s sharp K-9 senses.
The suspect had a long list of transgressions in Marietta, northwest of Atlanta, and neighboring jurisdictions—which included kidnapping, auto theft, multiple hit and runs, and fleeing from police.
Later, the Marietta Police Department marked the successful arrest, posting on Facebook: “Officer Lukaszewicz said it will DEFINITELY be steak for dinner!”
They also posted Apex’s picture on Twitter, which read: “Apex 4, Criminals 0.”
Apex, a Belgian Malinois born in the United States, finished his training with the Marietta Police Department in September 2018, when he was approximately 4 years old.
Along with two other dogs, Apex underwent “extensive training in drug-sniffing, tracking, and article search location” during their three years with the department, his online profile states.
The final stage of their training would “enable the handlers to release their canine officer, under specific circumstances, so it can apprehend a fleeing suspect and detain them until their handler can secure the suspect in handcuffs.”
Just weeks after finishing his training, K-9 Apex was already exhibiting his incredible tracking skills. In late September 2018, a tip from a concerned citizen led MPD officers to search a storage facility. “Apex was brought to the storage facility and alerted on a specific storage unit,” the MPD wrote in a Facebook post.
This led to an undercover sting and the arrests of two suspects who attempted to access the unit—which contained over $100,000 in marijuana. A photo of the K-9 lying beside piled-up bags of weed was posted on Facebook, captioned, “Can you tell Apex is happy?”
Since his introduction into the force, Apex has gone from strength to strength. In April 2018, an MPD officer pulled over a car for a tag violation. After the driver acted suspiciously, Apex revealed that the man had drugs stowed under the radio in the center console.
Apex’s online profile notes that he “is responsible for countless narcotic seizures and violent suspect apprehensions and the team has been recognized with many awards for their law enforcement work.” It also adds that he and Officer Lukaszewicz don’t just work together; they also live together.
In addition to the praise from the community, nonprofit Georgia K9 Foundation donated 70 bulletproof vests to keep Apex and his canine colleagues safe.
“These vests are bullet-resistant and shield the K-9’s vital organs during any apprehension that may involve tracking and even detaining a fleeing suspect before an officer can take full control,” said foundation board member Marci Viers, according to Marietta Daily Journal.