Salem K-9 unit catches car theft suspect hiding under deck

1 min read

SALEM — A car reported stolen from a local driveway Wednesday evening led to a high-speed chase, a neighborhood search, and the eventual arrest of a New Hampshire man, thanks to the keen nose of a police dog named Dash.

Salem patrol officers were dispatched to Hagop Road around 7:22 p.m. after receiving a report of a vehicle theft.

An officer spotted the stolen car on Kelly Road and attempted a traffic stop, but the pursuit was called off when the suspect drove recklessly onto Route 93.

The stolen vehicle surfaced again at 8:02 p.m. when a North Policy resident reported it in their driveway.

Officers confirmed it was the same car and launched an extensive search, employing a drone and K-9 Dash, along with his handler, Officer Paul Benoit.

During the search, officers also requested local residents to check their surveillance footage, which revealed attempts to steal other vehicles in the vicinity.

At approximately 8:42 p.m., K-9 Dash found the suspect, Nicholas R.

McKinnon, 27, of Rochester, NH, hiding in a bin under a deck.

Despite ignoring verbal commands to surrender, McKinnon was apprehended after Dash entered the container.

McKinnon was treated for injuries at a nearby hospital before being detained without bail at the Rockingham County Jail.

He faces charges including theft by unauthorized taking over $1,500, driving after suspension, reckless operation, disobeying an officer, and resisting arrest.

He was arraigned before the Salem District Court this morning.

The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges may be filed.

The recovered vehicle is being held pending a search warrant for further evidence, adhering to a 2021 state statute that requires consent from the vehicle operator for a search in such cases.

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