Cannabis Crooks Use Infrared Drones to Identify and Rob Growing Farms
Tech-savvy criminals in Britain are using heat-seeking drones and iPads to locate cannabis farms in order to rob them of their crop. The Halesowen News reports that the "explosion" in the number of farms has led to a steep rise in the number of violent robberies, with growers obviously unable to appeal to the police for assistance.
Crooks are using drones fitted with infrared cameras and wifi in order to track down local rivals or independent cannabis plant growers. The criminals are reportedly then selling the final products on the streets of Britain.
One convicted burglar said: "I bought my first drone for a few hundred quid and learnt how to fly it over wasteland and fitted a wifi camera to it so I could look into people’s windows.
"However, I noticed police helicopters used thermal imaging cameras to find cannabis farms because of the heat the hydroponic lights give off so I bought a second hand heat-seeking camera one online and hooked it up to my iPad."
Drones are becoming easier to obtain, online or in high street stores, and the technology to operate them in such a way has come down to just a few hundred pounds, making it a worthwhile investment for the criminals.
The British Parliament even has an All Party Parliamentary Group on drones, monitoring the legal, illegal, and military uses of aerial vehicles.
Labour MP Tom Watson, who is the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones, said: "This is remarkable and shows the proliferation of drone technology which can be used for both good and bad.
"It is no surprise enterprising criminals would want to get the upper hand in the criminal underworld by using drones.
"As a society we will be dealing with the impact of drones on our laws and regulations for years to come and it is time the Government started listening about privacy concerns about the misuse of drones."