Sheriff's office K9 catches suspected car thief
June 12, 2008 · Updated 10:20 AM
"The winning streak of an elusive South Kitsap car thief ended on his birthday through a combined effort of the Washington State Patrol, the Port Orchard Police Department, Kitsap County Sheriff's deputies and Andor, a K9 with the Sheriff's Office.Deputy Matt Hill said he had been trying to catch suspected car thief, Landon Caracciolo, 23, for about a year. He's gotten away at least six times; four times from me alone, Hill said. We got him, finally. It's been a battle.Over the course of the year, deputies had chased the man on foot, in cars and with canine units, but he always got away. Just last week, I had him in a stolen car. He ran on foot. We chased him for about two hours, Hill said.But Caraciollo's luck ran out April 9. This morning I saw him walking down Karcher. I turned around on him, Hill said. He ran and I chased him down Karcher.Port Orchard police responded to assist deputies in keeping Caracciolo from getting away again. They were asking for help to set up a perimeter, so Officer (Jerry) Martin, (Erik) Wofford and I assisted at Jackson, said Port Orchard Police Detective Jerry Jensen.As deputies spotted Caracciolo in different areas, law enforcement personnel changed the position of the perimeter, which ultimately covered Mile Hill Drive, Jackson, Lund, Lincoln, Olney and Retsil. That was a huge area, Jensen said. He was kind of surrounded by deputies and us.Deputies and Port Orchard police officers finally chased Caracciolo across Mile Hill Drive behind Albertson's grocery store to a ravine. Hill and Deputy Mike Grant stayed with him until help arrived. We chased him up and down the ravine for about half-an-hour, until the K9 arrived, Hill said.Once Andor and his handler, Deputy Jon Hytinen, arrived at the Mile Hill Drive ravine, law enforcement personnel got Caracciolo cornered in some bushes. Andor ultimately was responsible for apprehending him.Caracciolo was arrested for nine outstanding warrants from the Sheriff's Office and the Port Orchard Police Department. Hill said he didn't know exactly how many cars Caracciolo was responsible for stealing, saying only there were numerous vehicles, and adding he was also involved in methamphetamine. He's a suspect in numerous felony cases throughout the county, Hill said. And he's under arrest for (possession of stolen property) in the first degree and resisting arrest.Caracciolo was transported to Harrison Hospital for treatment of dog bites prior to being booked at the Kitsap County jail.Hill lauded Andor's contribution to capturing the man. Andor is the one that really got him. I chased him forever, but if it wasn't for the dog, I wouldn't have gotten him. The dog was awesome, he said. "