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Drones Helping Stockton Cops Catch Violent Crooks, Seize Guns

STOCKTON (CBS13) - An attempted murder suspect and a few firearms are off the streets thanks to a single police drone.

The high-tech flying machine is proving its worth.

The eyes in the sky flew over Taft Park Tuesday evening catching an attempted homicide suspect from back in December.

"They knew of him, they knew where he frequented," said Rosie Calderon with Stockton Police.

The 16-year-old is suspected of gunning down a man on Bianchi Road; now he's behind bars.

It's a crime catching tool that's a shock to the community.

"I've never heard about cops using drones, but I mean it's some slick stuff going around the world," said one man.

But that's not all police were able to see from above.

"Captured footage of another person in the same area during the same time going to his vehicle putting a handgun in his waistband," Calderon said.

That led to the arrest of 22-year-old Terry Emerson.

The visual gave police cause to conduct a traffic stop, which revealed three handguns.

"Anytime we get guns off the street it's a very significant and successful case," she added.

Stockton Police said in similar situations they would have to set up a perimeter on the ground.

"We have to come in and search these blocks and houses one by one, and it's a very unsafe thing to do basically," said Lt. Rich Ridenour with Stockton Police.

With the aerial views, investigators believe they can better search crimes scenes and catch criminals.

"Also if they break out of a perimeter and take off, we'll be able to stay with them, call in resources," Ridenour said.

Stockton PD said the benefits of drones are high reaching and will better protect communities in all types of high-risk situations.

The juvenile was taken into custody, and his identity was not released.

Emerson was also in jail and bail is set at $4.5 million.

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