On Sept. 1, 2017, at 3:30 a.m., Nanaimo RCMP received a call from the security unit of a local mill site reporting that they saw two people in the building in the process of stealing copper wire. There had been several previous break-and-enters at this location where the suspects fled on foot and escaped.
Officers from Nanaimo General Duty and Police Dog Services (PDS) responded. The officers went inside while members of the PDS waited nearby in the shadows, but no suspects emerged.
After waiting for a long time and making repeated calls alerting the intruders that police were present, Cst. Josh Grafton of Nanaimo PDS asked the general duty officers to enter the expansive industrial building and conduct a search for the suspects. After another long period of time, the officers emerged unable to find any suspects due to the sheer size of the building.
Believing the suspects had likely fled prior to their arrival, the officers made the decision to leave. Cst. Grafton, however, was not content with leaving the scene and sought out the security guard to assist him in identifying the exact location the suspects were last seen. Along with his service dog Jager, Cst. Grafton went inside the mill and searched tirelessly throughout for two hours. Just as he was about to stop, Jager began indicating in a general area by attempting to stand on his hind legs and look towards the ceiling.
Grafton scaled a large conveyer directly above them and found the two suspects lying face down in a trough. Both were arrested. One of the two had been located during a prior search of the mill site for a break and enter; the other was recently released from jail.
Grafton's hunch to not leave the scene and his tireless search efforts, even after other officers had cleared, shows his strong dedication. He is a great member and a great co-worker.