Creve Coeur Police use a drone in apprehension of 2 teens after overnight car break-ins in West County
CREVE COEUR, Mo. (KMOV) - An 18-year-old and a 13-year-old boy were taken into custody in connection with a series of car break-ins that happened in and near Creve Coeur early Monday morning.
Police officers received a call around 4 a.m. about suspects breaking into cars off of Guelbreth Road, which is just north of Creve Coeur in unincorporated St. Louis County. Creve Coeur officers say when they arrived on the scene, they spotted three cars speed off but chose not to chase.
Officers then spotted a stolen 2018 Hyundai Tucson enter the Westchester Estates subdivision off Ballas Road in Creve Coeur. The teens then got out of the car and fled on foot in the 11700 block of Lakeshore Drive. Police say they then used a night-vision drone to locate the suspects, who were taken into custody near New Salem Drive.
“We got the drone up in the air after we had found the vehicle that was unoccupied,” said Lt. Jonathan McIntosh with the Creve Coeur Police Department. “We knew we had people in a neighborhood which is a public safety concern.”
Officers operating the drone quickly witnessed two suspects running in down the street, which allowed them to alert officers on the ground of their location. Using a drone keeps officers safe and is more efficient than a ground search, McIntosh said.
“It’s dangerous when an officer can’t see where they’re going,” he said. “So we can use the drone to somewhat see the area the officer might be going to. We can clear an area and say, ‘hey there’s nobody there right now, don’t waste your time.’”
Many area departments have deployed a drone program to help with a variety of calls for service, including a missing person, fleeing suspects, large crowds and high-risk traffic stops.
“They’re using the smaller drones to approach those vehicles in a felony traffic stop,” said Sgt. Brian Harr of the O’Fallon Police Department. “They can get interior views of the vehicle and see what’s going on inside the car, how many people are in it and are they armed. The officers don’t have to approach those vehicles.”
The O’Fallon Police Department has also used its drones to aid the city in traffic studies of high-volume areas.
The St. Charles County Police Multi-Jurisdictional Drone Team also uses drones in surveillance for potential criminal activity, including tampering with vehicles or thefts from storage properties or RV lots.
Creve Coeur officers believe a car was also broken into on New Salem Drive. The Hyundai was reported stolen out of South City Sunday.
Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim or has ring/surveillance camera footage of car break-ins is asked to call Creve Coeur PD.
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