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California Highway Patrol rescues tiny dog, names him 'Ponch'

The furry suspect was unarmed and not dangerous.

Image: California Highway Patrol

An episode of CHiPs came to life yesterday when the California Highway Patrol responded to a call about a suspect on the loose.

But the suspect in question wasn't a criminal, or even wanted by the police. It was a little black Chihuahua that was lost and frightened.

The Los Angeles Times reports two officers located the dog yesterday around 7 a.m. on the busy Bay Bridge heading towards San Francisco. But what was supposed to be an easy capture turned out to be a complicated rescue mission.

Once the officers closed the bridge to traffic, the Chihuahua took off running in the opposite direction. In true CHiPs fashion, one of officers cruised on his motorcycle to try to scoop up the dog but had no luck. 

After four unsuccessful attempts to capture the furry suspect, one of the officers used his jacket to corner it against the bridge's wall. The other officer collared the animal and took it into custody, like any suspect that evades police.

"We've had dogs on the bridge, all sorts of animals: seals, turtles, you name it. We never had one that took off and took so long to get," one of the officers told the Times. 

The dog had a collar, but didn't have any identification. Officials say if no one claims the dog within five days, it'll be put up for adoption.

In the meantime, the pooch is in good health at the San Francisco County Animal Care. It's even earned the fitting nickname "Ponch," after Erik Estrada's character on CHiPs

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