By Jim Melwert

BLACKWOOD, NJ (CBS/AP) — A police “K-9” dog was killed Tuesday evening after being thrown into traffic by a robbery suspect he had chased down.

Skyler Robinson, 20, was taken into custody after an overnight hunt, and a second suspect, 19-year-old Evan Scotese, was taken into custody at his home Wednesday morning.

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Police say the dog, a 3½-year-old German Shepherd, was on duty for Gloucester Township police when they responded to a burglary call at a Chinese restaurant on East Church Street in Blackwood.

The suspects made off with approximately $300 and one of them punched an employee before fleeing.

After picking up the scent of Robinson, the dog, named “Schultz,” was let loose and chased him down along the shoulder of Route 42.

But as Schultz tried to take down Robinson, he somehow got hold of him and threw him into traffic on the highway. The dog was killed instantly.

“Officer Schultz gave his life for Officer Pickard and all of the men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department and we’re very thankful for his service,” Chief Harry Earle said.

Robinson and Scotese are both facing numerous charges, including robbery and resisting arrest by flight. In addition, Robinson is also facing charges of inflicting harm on a law enforcement animal and cruelty to animals.

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Police say they are very close to K-9 units — they say they treat the dogs like they treat other officers. And the men lined up early Wednesday morning outside the Chews Landing Veterinary Hospital, saluting as the body of the dog was brought out in a hearse.

A service to honor Schultz the dog is planned for next Thursday.

Reported By: Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio 1060 and Ben Simmoneau, CBS 3

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