Off-duty Selma police officer helps catch break-in suspects

Off-duty Selma police officer helps catch break-in suspects

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - One woman and two men are behind bars in Selma for breaking and entering vehicles and receiving stolen property. A Selma police officer is being single handedly credited with catching these suspects while off-duty.

Going in to law enforcement happened by "accident" for Matthew Smyly 11 years ago.

"Never grew up with the intentions of being a police officer. Just did it, enjoyed it and stuck with it," Matthew Smyly, K-9 Officer with the Selma Police Department.

As a K-9 Officer for the Selma Police Department his mindset when it comes to the oath he took to protect and serve this community is simple.

"We are police 24-7," said Smyly.

So this past Saturday while off-duty as he and his wife were loading groceries in the parking lot of Walmart he ended up being at the right place at the right time.

"I noticed a subject that we have been trying to catch for 6 months who has been breaking in to cars," said Smyly.

After calling dispatch Smyly continued to watch the suspect go from car to car pulling on the door handles. When he got in one of the vehicle, retrieved items, and made a run for it Smyly took action to apprehend the suspect.

"When the vehicle went to leave the parking lot. I pulled in behind it with my personal vehicle. The suspect got blocked in. I got out with my gun and ordered him on the ground," said Smyly.

Three people were arrested. After one of them made a threat against Smyly, a warrant was issued to search the suspects home and items including guns connected to a string of break-ins were discovered.

"We consider Breaking and Entering  to be a serious felony. We look for harsh punishments in those cases. And especially in this case where they were caught red handed," said Sgt. Michael Kiser, Selma Police Department.

Tyesha Turner, Anton Rutledge, and Achilles Rutledge have been charged with unlawful breaking and entering of a vehicle and receiving stolen property. Turner faces an additional charge of making terrorist threat to a police office.

Although Smyly says he was only doing his job others feel he deserves to be recognized.

"I think officer Smyly went above and beyond his duties. I just can't tell you how proud of him I am," said Kiser.

Selma Police says this case is still under investigation.

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