Fugitive sniffed out by halitosis

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The Independent Online
AS A method of throwing the police off the scent, disappearing underwater and breathing through a pipe was quite ingenious. But while the young fugitive was neither seen nor heard, his bad breath gave him away.

Steven Jones's James Bond-style escape ended when a police dog, Barney, got a whiff of his breath. The German shepherd picked up the scent emanating from Jones' makeshift breathing apparatus - a long piece of pipe used as a snorkel.

Details of the bizarre arrest emerged yesterday, whenJones, 19, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, appeared in the local magistrates court. He was released on unconditional bail after admitting to burgling a B&Q garden centre in Stoke-on-Trent and stealing equipment worth pounds 400.

The chase which ended in the underwater escapade began when Constable Keith Booth was called to the garden centre at 2.30am on 16 July last year and saw a man running away. "Barney started chasing and was slowly but surely catching up with him as they ran towards the river," he said. "I was following close behind, but as I reached the river bank there was an eerie silence - you could feel the stillness. It appeared that the man had simply vanished into thin air."

Barney ran barking into the river Trent, forcing Mr Jones to the surface. He had been underwater for 10 minutes.

PC Booth, who has spent 13 years with the dog section, said: "The man thought he could outwit him by camouflaging his smell underwater. Unfortunately for him, Barney managed to pick out the scent."