Two masked men who robbed a rural Post Office have been jailed after being tracked down by a police dog and her handler.
Jake Hardy, 27, of no fixed address, and Liam Malone, 28, of Ropery Road, Gainsborough, pleaded guilty to robbery and aggravated vehicle taking when they appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday, March 9.
Hardy was jailed for four years and three months and Malone was sentenced to three years and three months.
The robbery took place at the Post Office in Stockwith Road, Walkeringham in Nottinghamshire, at around 9am on February 7, 2017.
The court heard how Hardy and Malone threatened a female member of staff with a hammer before making off with about £1,200 in cash.
They fled in a car stolen from the woman which was found abandoned a short distance away.
PC Gregor Robbie and Police Dog (PD) Grace arrived at the scene about an hour after the robbery to start their track of the robbers.
They continued to track for nearly two hours across fields and farmland and through woodland and ditches.
Five-year-old German Shepherd Grace found two items of clothing which had been discarded in a stream under a bridge.
PC Robbie and PD Grace had to find their way across a canal as they continued their track which led them to an outbuilding in a field where Hardy and Malone were found hiding.
After detaining the robbers, the pair returned to the building where clothes and a bundle of bank notes were found.
Speaking after the sentencing, PC Robbie said: “It was a great job which recognises the excellent work our police dogs do.
“If Grace hadn’t been there we wouldn’t have caught the suspects. The distance tracked in the end, from the stolen vehicle being found to finding the suspects, was over five kilometres in the end – over three miles!”
Inspector Annie Reavley, from the East Midlands Operational Support Service Dog Unit, added: “Superb tracking and tenacity was demonstrated by Greg and Grace which produced a fantastic result.”