It all began just after 7:00 p.m. Tuesday when two men entered the Lucky Dragon Chinese Restaurant in Blackwood, Gloucester Township.
They assaulted the clerk, grabbed money from the register and fled on foot, according to police.
When officers arrived, a K9 picked up the scent of one of the suspects in the rear of the restaurant.
A half mile away, the dog located one suspect on the shoulder of route 42.
"The K9 officer released his canine and to make that apprehension. It began to make that apprehension and the suspect was able to take hold of the dog and throw the dog into moving traffic on route 42 southbound," Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle said.
The dog died immediately, struck by oncoming traffic, after having served most of its 3-and-half year life.
Police spent hours searching for the suspects with a state police chopper in the air and patrol units on the ground, but they remain on the loose.
"No respect for injuring someone and no respect for injuring an animal, as well," Earle said.
The clerk at the restaurant suffered minor injuries.
Police say they will honor the police dog in the near future. The name of the young German Shepherd has not yet been released.
Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to call Gloucester Township Police at 856-842-5560.