Suspected car thief caught by K9 purchased by dealership where car was stolen

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An alleged car thief was arrested in Polk County by the very same K9 purchased by the dealership where the car was stolen.

Last year, Miracle Toyota purchased Tundra the K9 for the Haines City Police Department. 

“Tundra’s young, not quite 2 years old. What we consider a rookie,” explained Police Chief Jim Elensky.

He was put to the test Tuesday afternoon.  Police say 35-year-old Hugh Stewart stole a used black Lincoln MKZ from a salesman at Miracle Toyota.

“As he got around the passenger door, he heard a noise. The gentleman locked the door on him and took off,” said Al Gerber, a financial services coordinator at Miracle Toyota.

Police and sheriff’s deputies wound up chasing the stolen Lincoln down U.S. Highway 27

“He ended up in a ditch and refused to get out of the car and Tundra happened to be the person to take him down,” Chief Elensky said.

Which brings the story of Tundra full circle.

“The whole ironic twist here Miracle Toyota bought the dog for us and Tundra is the dog that took the suspect down,” the chief said.  "Great return on investment!"

On the other side, Stewart is once again behind bars. His criminal history is extensive, some 60 pages long.  He was out on probation at the time for grand theft auto.

He’s facing several new charges now.