Do you like the idea of police drones?
For several nights, someone was throwing rocks at cars as they passed under a railroad bridge over Highway 14 in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. After at least 18 vehicles were damaged over three separate nights of random attacks, police decided on an innovative plan to catch the guilty party by using a drone for surveillance.
According to an official press release, the rock throwing attacks happened on August 15, 16, and 19 between 10:00 and 10:30 pm. Luckily, only two people reported injuries to authorities, both of them minor. But we’ve seen fatal incidents with rocks thrown at cars, so the situation had to be treated seriously.
To shorten response time when the guilty party struck again, more police officers patrolled the area at night. But it was a police drone that ultimately caught the culprits on August 21 at about 10:00 pm as the camera captured two people on the railroad bridge, one of them throwing rocks onto the highway below.
Those additional officers in the area converged on the bridge and arrested the 15-year-old boy who was throwing rocks. His companion, also a 15-year-old male, ran away and hid nearby but was found not too long after.
We’d like to think these boys weren’t thinking as either the one or both threw rocks at cars from the bridge. If they had thought about the damage and danger their activity would cause and still went through with it, that’s not encouraging in the least.
Both boys were taken to the county juvenile center and are facing charges for first- and second-degree recklessly endangering safety and criminal damage to property. Police say thousands of dollars in damage have been done to vehicles by the teens.
Fitchburg police are heralding this incident as an example of how useful a resource drones are for law enforcement activities. We’re noticing drones are used by law enforcement more with each passing month, but like any tool we think they can be used for good or ill.
Image via Lowell Police Department