VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new canine crime fighter in New York. A dog has been specially trained to help crack high-tech cases from terrorism to financial fraud.
Harley the cyber crime dog has a nose for law enforcement, but she’s not sniffing for drugs, or even bombs. Harley is the first ever certified ‘electronics detection canine’ in New York, trained to find evidence hidden by suspects.
“Harley’s beat includes helping to execute a search warrant and investigate crime scenes, particularly financial fraud, child pornography, narcotics trafficking, and terrorism,” Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino explained.
Since July, Harley’s worn the bade of the Westchester County Police Department and is now part of the FBI cyber crime task force.
“in the short time she’s been with us, Harley has no doubt won the hearts and respect of many members of the FBI’s New York Field Office,” FBI Special Agent Aristedes Mahairas told CBS2’s Brian Conybeare.
Harley was originally going to be a guide dog for the blind, but she was too active, so they channeled that energy into sniffing out a chemical used in cell phone memory cards, and other electronic devices.
Her human partner Detective Brett Hochron said that chemical is called TPPO.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a thumb drive, or USB drive, an SD card, a camera card, a cell phone, they all have the same memory inside,” Det Hochron said.
Harley’s already discovered three hidden devices in a child porn case. During a demonstration in Valhalla, Harley found a tablet computer hidden under a podium, a hard drive stashed near a fire extinguisher, and a micro SD card screwed in behind the plate covering an electrical outlet in a wall.
“Instead of opening up every receptacle she can sniff out any receptacle to avoid having to open them up and search inside,” Det. Hochron said.
CBS2 even hid a camera in a classroom — Harley sniffed it out in less than a minute.
Her only reward was a handful of Kibble and pat on the head. She is one of nine new cyber crime dogs trained by the Connecticut State Police.