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Meet the very good dog who helped sniff out a string of arsons at a Lewisville apartment complex

Firefighters in Lewisville are crediting a special member of the Grand Prairie Fire Department for helping solve a series of car arsons that stretch back to July 2019.

Molly, a K9 officer assigned to the department by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, played a key role in this week’s arrest of a 63-year-old man now charged with five counts of second-degree felony arson.

The six-year-old yellow Labrador retriever has been with the department for more than four years, where she is trained by an arson investigator.

“Molly trains to eat, meaning she must find flammable liquids in exchange for food,” said Claudia Garibay, the Grand Prairie Fire Department’s public information officer. “This is a normal procedure in K9 training.”

Since July 2019, there have been 10 vehicle arsons at the Windsor Court Apartments. According to a news release from the city of Lewisville, the man charged with the alleged crimes lives at the apartments.

Zainul A. Bandeali is being held at the Denton County Jail, charged with five counts of second-degree felony arson; his bail is set at $375,000.

The Lewisville Police Department and the Texas Rangers also assisted in the arrest.

For Molly, meanwhile, life is not all work, no play.

“There is also time for fun normal dog activities including walks and playtime,” Garibay said.

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