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Washington County man accused using drone to stalk underage girls

Pittsburgh-area accused of using a drone to stalk underage girls
Pittsburgh-area accused of using a drone to stalk underage girls 01:55

CANONSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — A Washington County man is accused of using a drone to stalk and harass six people, including five underage girls. 

According to police, 44-year-old Michael Brackman, of Canonsburg, allegedly used a drone to follow his victims, with the youngest being 12 years old. Brackman is accused of stalking his victims for one year. 

"I'm not surprised, but I would say it's unique," FBI Supervisory Special Agent Tim Wolford said. "We have seen that child predators are becoming more sophisticated in utilizing technology more and more to carry out their crimes." 

One of the victims, a 13-year-old girl, told police that Brackman's drone followed her between 80 and 90 times, including while she was jumping on a trampoline. 

Another victim reported seeing the drone outside of their bedroom window and that Brackman would leave them handwritten notes with inappropriate messages. 

"It got to that point where they were fearful to come outside and play in the neighborhood because of this drone," Canonsburg Police Deputy Chief Donald Cross said. 

Neighbors along Franklin Avenue said they saw the drone numerous times but never imagined it was being used for something nefarious. 

"I was really shocked to hear there is someone like this who lives here," neighbor Scott Camus said. 

The FBI said agents are always working to stay one step ahead of child predators, as they're increasingly thinking outside of the box. That's why it's important to have constant conversations with your children about the dangers of social media.

"There are constantly new apps that are coming out," Wolford said. "There are constantly new platforms that are being used on social media. So, there is always a high learning curve where we're trying to stay ahead."

Brackman faces dozens of misdemeanor stalking charges. 

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