The News Today
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12.6.20
Sniffing Around

Police Trained a Dog to Sniff Out Electronic Evidence

__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Hard Science
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

Cyber Crime

State police in Minnesota say they’ve trained a dog to sniff out electronics that could be storing incriminating evidence.

Sota, a British Labrador trained to find small electronics like USB drives or SD cards, according to the Star Tribune. The dog is an unusual law enforcement tool, especially in an era of bloated police budgets spent on excessive equipment, though cops say Sota is valuable.

Hidden Drives

It’s hard to imagine a realistic scenario where one might need a dog to find electronics, but the Star Tribune reports that Sota has helped find hidden evidence related to financial crimes or predatory crimes committed by pedophiles at ten crime scenes.

The police department told the Star Tribune that Sota would be particularly useful if, for instance, a suspect was to fling away a micro SD card while fleeing police who wouldn’t be able to find it on their own.

Indiscriminate Sleuthing

Of course, Sota and any similarly-trained dogs can’t tell whether a storage device would actually contain incriminating evidence.

Rather, she can merely determine that an electronic storage device, overlooked by human cops, is present.

READ MORE: Minnesota’s new police dog can help sniff out electronic evidence in sexual predator cases [The Star Tribune]

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