Keaau High grad TJ San Miguel and her K9 Pele catch thief in Seattle

A Keaau High graduate is one half of a crime-fighting duo in Seattle.

This week Officer TJ San Miguel and her partner Pele helped catch a robbery suspect.

The masked robber suddenly ran up behind the woman, grabbing her and knocking her down.

By time the victim looked up, she told police she was staring back at a gun.

“I believe she was actually hit with a firearm,” said Officer TJ San Miguel, Seattle Police Department.

Police say the woman was blocks from the Othello light rail station when the attacker took off with her purse, keys and lunchbox.
Witnesses called police and officers searched the area from the air and on the ground.

Half-an-hour later, and half a block away, K9 Pele zeroed in on a key clue the suspect dropped. It was a sunglasses case on the ground.

She took off on the suspect’s trail, and police followed Pele into a yard just around the corner.

“He was hiding under a 6- or 7-foot aluminum row boat that was flipped upside down, overturned behind a shed somebody’s back yard,” said San Miguel.

Officers arrested a 16-year-old suspect. Police say K9 Pele made a big difference.

The cool thing about the dog is how they bring something to the table that none of us can do.

We can’t put our nose to the ground and find a suspect.

San Miguel graduated from UH Hilo in 2008. Her dad who told us, she named the dog Pele to honor her love of hawaii.

Pele is a 2-year-old German shepherd, who’s certified in patrol work. When she’s not saving lives and napping criminals, Pele likes destroying toys and swimming.

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