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Cops use drone to capture gunmen

Saturday, January 6, 2018
The Luger pistol, 12 rounds of ammunition and 186 grammes of marijuana were seized by police on Thursday afternoon.

A drone was used by police officers to capture two men who attempted to flee the scene of a shooting in Tunapuna on Thursday evening.

According to a release from the T&T Police Service (TTPS), around 5 pm officers of the Northern Division Task Force (NDTF) responded to a report of a shooting at Madoo Hill, Tunapuna, in which no one was injured.

A black Nissan Sylphy with three occupants was seen leaving the scene and the officers led by Insp Robert Joseph and Sgt Rene Katwaroo intercepted it along Goya Street in El Dorado.

The suspects got out the vehicle and ran into a bushy area south of the Priority Bus Route, boarding the Macoya Industrial Estate.

Police recovered a Luger pistol with 12 rounds of ammunition and 186 grammes of marijuana in the abandoned vehicle.

The officers contacted their colleagues in the TTPS’s Air Support Unit and they came to the scene with their drone referred to a “Dragonfly 3”.

Pilot Sgt Ronny Rampallard and tactical systems operator Cpl Phillip Forbes launched the unmanned aerial device and managed to pinpoint the suspects’ location within minutes and gave the co-ordinates to their colleagues.

Two of the suspects, a 24-year-old from Straker Lane, Tunapuna, and an 18-year-old of Dookie Lane, Tunapuna, were arrested. The third suspect managed to escape.

They remained detained at the Tunpuna Police Station up to late yesterday.

Police sources said that drones are now being frequently used by the unit in lieu of helicopters due to their minor operational costs and manoeuvrability.

Under the T&T Civil Aviation Act and the T&T Civil Aviation Authority Regulations, civilians operating drones are barred from doing so in Port-of-Spain and within five km of the Piarco and Arthur NR Robinson Airports.


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