If there is one team that a thief must hate by now is that of drones and dogs because no matter how hard he tries to escape the long arm of the law, these two will always ensure he is brought to justice. Recently in Manchester, a drone and dog teamed up to track down a gun thief who had attempted to hide from the police. It is not a unique incidence, but it is here to remind us that as much as we are wary of drones for the disasters they have caused, they still are a technology we can embrace in keeping the sanity on our streets. So, here is more about how drones and canines have helped to apprehend suspects.
Capturing the Suspect
Imagine seeing a man break into your friend’s car and take a gun. Most of us would probably be scared of being shot hence call the police from a safe distance, but one man proved to be a responsible and brave civilian. The man, whose name is still withheld, went into his friend’s car and found a stranger. After confronting the stranger whose name was later identified as Donald Freese, Donald pointed a firearm he had found in the car at the civilian.
However, he must have been scared, so he ran off, but the civilian was not ready to let him go scot-free; thus, he chased Donald. The chase caught the public attention because someone called the police at 7.40 pm, notifying them of the incident that happened around Ashland and Bridge Streets. Before the police arrived, Donald fired once at the civilian pursuing him then went into hiding when police began searching for him using a drone and dog.
His attempts to remain hidden were futile because the drone located him on Hall Street, lying down in the backyard. Donald refused to come out after police ordered him to, adding another charge to his arrest. Unfortunately, the gun Donald had stolen was nowhere to be found, but he was still charged with theft. Other charges, according to DroneXL, include reckless conduct, criminal threatening, resisting arrest, loitering, and prowling.
Other Drone and K-9 Combined Efforts in Catching Suspected Thieves
In May 2019, KOMO News published the story of how two suspected car thieves were determined to get away from the police. Therefore, they drove the stolen car and rammed into a deputy Sheriff’s car before speeding away fast, causing the police to chase them along Highway 2 in Snohomish, Washington. The car thieves’ luck ended when they crashed into a construction site, but they were not ready to surrender. The two ran off but were captured when police deployed a drone and police dog.
In May 2020, the capture of Justin William Sager, a 28-year-old suspected motorcycle thief, would not have been possible if not for the help of a drone and police dog. Sager was driving a Toyota van suspected of being behind motorcycles’ theft when police tried stopping him. Instead of coming to a halt, Sager turned to Beacon Drive and fled away fast, disregarding the stop signs and driving into oncoming traffic. Police were unable to pursue him since it would risk the lives of the public. Sager ended up in a dead-end on Lynda Lane and crashed into a parked car resulting in him fleeing on foot. It became easier to apprehend him because police established a perimeter around the vacant field Sager was hiding in; the police dog and drones deployed, along with police cooperation, led to his arrest.
Sometimes, Drones Work for the Criminals Too
BBC published how a little girl was left devastated a few weeks before Christmas because her best friend, a Dalmatian named Lottie, was stolen. The girl, Chloe, is autistic, and Lottie helped to her calm down. Therefore, when she found that her best friend was gone, she could only cry herself to sleep every day, hoping that Lottie’s return would be her gift for Christmas. Unfortunately, due to her autism, Chloe could not understand that the pup had been stolen; all she thought was that someone hated her so much that they took the dog.
Chloe’s mum, Mrs. Hopkins, on the other hand, was convinced that the burglars used a drone to survey the property before taking Lottie. She said that she lived in a small village and knew none of her neighbors flew a drone. Therefore, when she saw one on the gated side of her house then found a broken bolt, Mrs. Hopkins could not help but conclude that the drone she had spotted a few days earlier was connected to the burglary. What made it worse was that Chloe’s best friend’s life was at risk because he had a liver condition that needed special food, which the thieves would not know.
The Start of Drone Use in Capturing Thieves
In 2015, a Japanese security company, Secom, created a new surveillance method. It entailed chasing down intruders, taking their license plate numbers, and capturing their faces. Secom boasted being the first company worldwide to make such an autonomous flying device that combined imaging and sensing technology since it was equipped with a camera and LED light. The drone unveiled had a speed of six miles per hour and could follow suspects to collect detailed images of the face, body type, clothing, and car.
However, the price was a limiting factor because it would set you back $6,620 to buy. You would still pay $41 monthly for the service. It was not a welcome option because Japanese authorities also worried about drones being used for terrorist activities. They had witnessed a drone carrying radioactive material to the Prime Minister’s office. Consequently, all drones will be under close surveillance such that if operators are asked to ground them but ignore the instructions, the drones will be captured. The technology has advanced, and now surveillance drones have heat sensors, live-feed video cameras, and radar detection.