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Sheriff’s K9 Ellie helps nab burglary suspect in El Mirage



EL MIRAGE, Calif. ( – An El Mirage couple fought off a burglar after finding him inside their house when they returned home, officials said.

It happened on Christmas Eve at about 3:52 pm, in the 14000 block of Palmer Road in El Mirage.

Police say the suspect, Julio Zavala, 35,  broke into the family home and attempted to run after he was involved in a ‘scuffle’ with the victim and his wife. As they attempted to retrieve their stolen property and detain him for deputies, Zavala broke away and ran out of sight into the desert, sheriff’s officials said in a news release.

“Sheriff’s K9 Ellie responded and quickly followed the suspect’s trail for about 2 miles through the desert where they confronted the suspect. When deputies identified themselves the suspect fled again on foot leading Deputies Williams and Porter on foot pursuit,” stated the release.

After about a mile long foot-pursuit, Zavala was taken into custody without incident.

Authorities said Zavala has been tied to several other burglaries in the area. Anyone who has additional information about the case or burglaries is encouraged the contact Deputy Williams at the Victor Valley Sheriffs Station 760-552-6800.