K-9 'Charlie' could help sniff out child predators

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K-9 'Charlie' could help sniff out child predators: Vernon Odom reports on Action News at 4:30 p.m., September 13, 2017. (WPVI)

As child predators become more adept at hiding electronic evidence of their crimes, it became clear authorities needed a new way to track them down.

That's why a specially-trained Labrador retriever named Charlie was recruited by authorities in Delaware County.

The two-year-old K-9 was introduced on Wednesday morning.

The Delaware County district attorney and federal officials say she is specially trained to detect electronic devices. She is one of fewer than two dozen such dogs in the country.

Charlie can detect the distinct chemical smell of small electronics, which allows her to pinpoint either where electronic devices are located, or where they were located.

Authorities say her skills are needed because child predators are getting better at hiding smaller electronic storage devices and concealing incriminating photos.

Charlie is trained to find tablets, laptops, hard drives and micro SD cards.

"Charlie can find elements of a crime that even the most seasoned investigator can miss, which are essential for prosecution," D.A. Jack Whelan said.

Charlie showed off her skills during a press conference on Wednesday, successfully locating a hidden flash drive.

She was then awarded with her favorite toy: a green tennis ball.

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