Criminals Using Marijuana-Hunting Drones to Score
Eye-in-the-sky spots weed
Military-style drones have become a favorite tool of law enforcement. But now the bad guys are catching on, too. Enterprising British criminals are installing heat sensors on drones and using them to locate marijuana farms—then swiping the crop.
“Tech-savvy thieves are buying drones for as little as 60 pounds”—$100—“from supermarkets such as Tesco and attaching infrared cameras to them, which they can monitor via an iPad,” Britain’s Daily Mail reported.
“Burglars are then breaking in to the premises and stealing the crop to sell on the streets,” the newspaper added.
To be fair, these criminals aren’t really being that innovative. They are doing what police already do, which is use aerial sensors to detect the powerful heat and light sources growers need to cultivate pot.
In America, the Supreme Court has ruled that using thermal imaging devices to detect heat from someone’s home is considered a search under the Constitution, and therefore requires a search warrant. Of course, that doesn’t stop American law enforcement from flying surveillance over U.S. borders.
It’s not just cannabis growers who should be worried about drones. Criminals are bound to use the technology in all sorts of devious ways, maybe even hacking Internet passwords.
And if criminals can do it, then so can spies, business rivals and anyone else with a little bit of cash and a fair amount of chutzpah.