For a month authorities have been on the case of a vicious suspect alleged to have assaulted a 3-and-a-half-year-old girl.

They even procured an off-road vehicle to track the predator in the Lancaster area, to no avail. The suspect would run off into the desert and allude the long arm of the law.

But today county officials announced they were victorious:

The alleged criminal in question was collared. And we do mean collared.

Over the weekend the county Department of Animal Care and Control nabbed a pit bull / labrador mix as he headed back to the desert from a Lancaster neighborhood he was known to frequent.

Marcia Mayeda, director of the Animal Care and Control:

We have spotted the dog on a few occasions since the attack, but it eluded our officers by running into the desert. Fortunately, we have been able to track the dog's travel patterns over the past few weeks. A team of county animal control officers were able to catch the dog over the weekend while it was heading back towards the desert from a local Lancaster neighborhood.

Case closed. Except now they want to the dog's owner to come forward, if he even has one.

The girl was bitten in the face on the morning of Dec. 21 as she stood in her front yard in the 44000 block of 18th Street West in Lancaster, according to county officials. A relative scared the pooch off.

What will become of this allegedly ferocious criminal? Animal Care and Control officials want to show the girl that they have the dog behind bars, to help her get over her trauma. And, Mayeda, says:

Now that we've got the dog, it will be held under observation and hopefully its owner will come forward.

Sounds like a death sentence to us.

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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