THEY say dogs are a man's best friend.
But that wasn't the case for a fugitive who stole a bike from the backyard of a Salamanca St home on Thursday afternoon shortly after he allegedly robbed the Westpac bank at Stockland Rockhampton.
Julian Lawton's 18-month-old female german shepherd Mishka defended her home when the bandit reached over the back fence to steal a girl's red bike which reportedly was used to evade police.
Mr Lawton said he arrived home to a disturbance in his backyard at about 4pm on Thursday.
"I pulled up at home and walked inside and heard Mishka growling out the back," Mr Lawton said.
"I pulled the curtain back at the back door and she had hold of a lad on his left forearm.
"I opened the door and went out and saw him pulling the girl's red bike over the fence. He was leaning over into our backyard trying to get the bike and he got a bit of a shock I think."
Mr Lawton said at the time he had no idea the man had robbed a bank and was thankful Mishka was there to defend his property.
"I rang police link to let them know about the bike and had no idea what was going on with the robbery," he said.
"They were already out the front when I was on the phone to Policelink.
"Mishka's a really good guard dog and that's one of the reasons we got her...to look after the yard when no ones home.
"We have another male named Merlin and he's two-years-old.
''He's pretty much the same as her but he's a bit slow and yesterday she beat him to the punch."
Mr Lawton said his guard dog was no stranger to defending their family and home from criminals.
Mr Lawton said just over a year ago Merlin saved his daughter from abduction.
"He saved our daughter about a year and a half ago from a lad that tried to grab her over the fence.
"I try to do the best to look after the wife and kids because I work a lot out of town and it's a bit of peace of mind knowing that there's frontline defence before they can get into the house."