Atascadero police chase shoplifting suspect with helicopter and K-9

Dustin Anthony Orton

A 30-year-old Paso Robles man initially managed to evade capture after allegedly shoplifting at Smart & Final in Atascadero Thursday afternoon. But he failed to get away from police once officers brought in a K-9 and a helicopter to assist with the search.

Atascadero police officers arrived in the area of Smart & Final shortly before 3 p.m. and found a man matching the description of the suspect. The suspect, later identified as Dustin Anthony Orton, fled on foot, according to police.

Officers set up a perimeter in the area of Curbaril, Sinaloa and Santa Ysabel avenues. During the pursuit, officers learned that Orton was reportedly armed with a knife.

Police requested an Atascadero K-9 unit and a CHP helicopter. With assistance from the K-9 and the helicopter, officers started a search in the 8900 block of Curbaril and located the suspect in a nearby backyard.

When confronted, Orton refused to comply with officers’ demands. Officers then deployed the K-9 and captured him.

Orton received treatment from medics prior to being booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

Authorities say Orton had a felony no-bail warrant at the time of Thursday’s incident. Additional charges are pending.