Drones Recover Stolen Construction Equipment

Drones to the rescue.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, also known as UAV’s, have often been a point of contention in law enforcement, but this time it looks like a drone saved the day. Police employed a UAV in early 2017 to aid in the recovery of construction equipment missing from three states.

Equipment had been reported missing from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, with losses totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams operated the Sheriff’s Office UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in an area where visual observations could be made of the property in question,” the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office described in a release. “During this time, several large pieces of construction equipment was observed to the rear of a large structure on the property. The Cecil County Sheriff’s Office recently initiated their UAV program. Sheriff Adams, along with other deputies completed training and are certified, licensed UAV operators.”

Officers had observed the suspect moving construction equipment to a remote area off of Barksdale Road in Elkton, MD, as well as witnessed the suspect travel among the areas with reported to have missing equipment. Upon suspicion of the suspect, New Jersey police alerted the Cecil County authorities, who then employed the drone.

The drone allowed officers to obtain a search warrant, leading to the seizure of 17 construction items off Barksdale Road, and an additional 3 items off Telegraph Road nearby. The recovered items are valued at $394,000. $243,000 of this value has been returned to the victims as of March 16th.

The sheriffs department is not releasing the suspect’s name at this time, and additional arrests are expected. Further work is being done to identify the remaining theft victims and return their stolen items.

The UAV operation was conducted as an effort between the Cecil County Sheriffs department, as well as Delaware State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, New Jersey State Police, and Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police.