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The Region : Santa Ana Area Evacuated

January 28, 1987

About 10 families were evacuated from a Santa Ana neighborhood when a SWAT team pursuing two men who had robbed a clothing store surrounded a house where they believed one of the robbers was barricaded, a police spokesman said. The Special Weapons and Tactics unit was requested after a police dog sent into a house in the 200 block of North Figueroa Street hobbled out 20 minutes later seriously injured, Lt. Robert Helton said. Two men had entered Maria's Clothing, 3839 West 1st St., and demanded money about 7:10 p.m., police said. One robber was armed, and one person in the store was forced to lie on the floor while the cash register was emptied, according to police. After the robbers fled, witnesses led police to the house on North Figueroa Street, which eventually was surrounded by 21 officers. Officer Michael Fleet of the canine unit was nearby, on his way to a training session with his police dog Conny, when he heard a radio call, Helton said. Fleet sent Conny in, and one man came out of the house, police said. He was detained for questioning. It was another 20 minutes before the dog returned. It had been severely beaten with blows to the head and body, Helton said. Police found no one in the house when they entered it about 10:30 p.m. after several tear-gas canisters had been lobbed inside. Conny, a German shepherd, was taken to Grand Avenue Pet Hospital for treatment.

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