The Erath County Sheriff’s Office has a new weapon in its arsenal to catch bad guys - a bloodhound named Pearl.

Pearl and her handler, Deputy Erick Reynolds, helped catch a teenage thief on Tuesday.

Michael Ramsey, 17, was arrested after breaking into his grandparent’s barn on CR 567 and stealing gasoline and personal information investigators believe he planned to sell.

Ramsey’s grandparents called authorities to report the theft in progress.

“When deputies arrived on scene they found the suspect walking down the road after ditching the stolen items,” said Sgt. Investigator Ben Moore. “We already had a warrant out for his arrest from the week before when he broke into his grandparent’s home so he was immediately taken into custody.”

Pearl arrived on scene a short time later to help investigators link Ramsey to the scene of the crime.

“Pearl picked up (Ramsey’s) scent quickly from the site of the arrest to where the offense occurred,” Reynolds said. “She also alerted on the stolen property, which was hidden under some brush.”

Ramsey has been charged with burglary of a habitation and burglary of a building and is being held at the Erath County Jail on a $20,000 bond. 

Sheriff Matt Coates said he has a new message for would-be criminals.

“We now have the ability to track you and we will,” Coates said.