MTA Police recover missing bomb-sniffing dog


The fugitive's tattoo gave him away, as two Baltimore police officers apprehended the subject of a citywide escape alert yesterday morning.

Rolf, the bomb-sniffing German shepherd, had been at large since disappearing from his handler's home Saturday night. He was returned to the custody of the Maryland Transit Administration Police.

On Sunday the MTA Police put out a "be-on-the-lookout" bulletin to police agencies and the news media concerning the 2-year-old dog, assigned to Officer Donald Paige. It said the dog was last seen in the 3500 block of Hilton Road.

The bulletin asked for information on the whereabouts of Rolf, describing him as a 65-pound male with a black coat, silver and brown markings and an identification number tattooed in his right ear.

Holly Henderson, an MTA spokeswoman, said the city officers spotted the animal about 6:45 a.m. yesterday and positively identified him at Reisterstown Road and Cold Spring Lane. The dog was examined by a veterinarian and found to be healthy, Henderson said.

Rolf is one of the MTA Police agency's two Transportation Security Administration-certified bomb-sniffing dogs. In May, he was introduced to the public, along with Brix, a fellow explosives-detecting German shepherd, at a news conference at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

After the news conference, Rolf took part in a demonstration of his bomb-sniffing prowess aboard a light rail train. At the time, Paige described Rolf as a "very hyper" dog who loved his work. The dogs are used during regular patrols of MTA buses, light rail, Metro subway cars and MARC trains, according to the MTA.

Henderson said she had no information on Rolf's activities between his disappearance and his apprehension, saying the matter was still under investigation. Despite being absent without leave, Rolf will not face departmental charges, she said.

"He's back here safe and sound," Henderson said.

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