GPS, K-9 ‘Vader’ Help Track Down Two Cocoa Burglary Suspects
By SpaceCoastDaily // March 18, 2016
Both Men Facing Multiple Felony Charges
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The owners of a Cocoa business reported a burglary early Friday morning and then helped lead police to the suspects using GPS technology. A Brevard County Sheriff’s Office K-9 assisted as well.
Just after 6 a.m. Friday, Cocoa Police officers responded to the 700 block of Industry Road for a reported burglary. The owners of a construction business reported two of their pickups had been stolen.
The vehicles were equipped with GPS tracking devices and the owners assisted police with finding an approximate location in a wooded area just south of State Road 524 and east of Interstate 95.
Officers responded to the area with assistance from the Brevard County Sheriff’s helicopter and K-9 teams.
A short time later, one suspect was found and taken into custody without incident. As officers were about to call off the search for other suspects, sheriff’s K-9 “Vader,” a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, lead his handler, Deputy David Bowes, to a second suspect, identified as William Richards, who was hiding in the woods.
The other suspect is identified as Austin Hopfer. Both men are facing felony charges of burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief.
Hopfer will also face a charge of violation of probation because of a previous burglary arrest.
The investigation is ongoing.