Overland police praise K9 officer after apprehending suspected church burglar

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OVERLAND, Mo. - A police dog put a stop to repeated break-ins at an Overland church.

Overland Police K9 Officer Tzar sniffed out the suspect hiding in a sacred place, according to his human officers.

Saturday’s break-in at the West Overland Bible Church near Ashby and Midland was the third at the church in the past two weeks.

Aaron Coffey, 36, was charged with multiple counts of burglary and stealing. He allegedly stole audio-video equipment, church keys, and even snacks for church youth in the previous crimes.

A new security system alerted church leaders and ultimately police to the latest break-in, police said. Tzar found Coffey hiding in a pool used for baptisms, which was dry and covered at the time.

“That (was) after numerous announcements that law enforcement is in the building, police are coming in with a K9, a K9 actively barking all the way through the building,” said Lt. Steve Hurst, Overland Police Department. “He’s a good dog; great asset to the department. He’s helped us on a lot of high-profile apprehensions, drug seizures; glad to have him as part of the department, for sure.”

Coffey suffered minor lacerations from being apprehended by Tzar, said Lt. Hurst.

Coffey is being held at the St. Louis County Justice Center on a  $50,000 bond.

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