After being confronted by the police at the intersection of Humboldt Avenue and Little Chico Creek, the suspect, Branden Thurston, aged 26, made his escape on foot into the dense undergrowth of Little Chico Creek.
Because there was already a pending criminal warrant for Thurston's arrest, the authorities made it a top priority to capture him. However, due to the dense, thorny vegetation, it was difficult to send out a K-9 unit to search for him.
Thermal drone tech comes to the rescue
The unmanned aircraft system (UAS) used by the CPD was equipped with thermal imaging and a Spotlight system. Both of these helped the officers find the hiding suspect.
Law enforcement then detained Thurston and placed him under arrest. According to the CPD, the use of Drone Technology can be implemented rapidly and offers real-time intelligence, both of which can be challenging to acquire using more conventional approaches.
For the sake of openness and transparency, the police department maintains a log of all police flights, including those conducted by drones, and makes this log available to the public.
As a result of how well drone technology worked during this operation, it is likely that law enforcement agencies will use drones more often in the future, reports KRCR.
You can read more about thermal drones being used for good here on DroneXL.
Photos courtesy of the Chico Police Department.
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