Criminal gangs in the UK’s Shropshire county are using drones to locate marijuana farms, and then blackmailing the farms’ owners or straight up stealing their weed, ITProPortal reports.
It’s a tactic that law enforcement authorities worldwide have been employing for years — using thermal imaging to detect possible locations of grow houses. Marijuana requires hot temperatures and hydroponic lamps to grow, meaning that grow houses generally emit a ton of heat, and show up on cops’ thermal cameras.
Now, criminals are reportedly using the same technique, except they’re hooking the thermal cameras up to unmanned drones, and joining police in a race to locate grow houses.
“They are fair game,” a definitely sketchy, unnamed 33-year old is quoted as saying. “It is not like I’m using my drone to see if people have nice televisions. I am just after drugs to steal and sell. If you break the law then you enter me and my drone’s world.”
The criminal told the press that he sticks to suburban areas, where he doesn’t have to mess with other gangs and drug dealers.
“Half the time we don’t even need to use violence to get the crop,” the criminal reportedly said, which we guess is — er — comparatively good?
MP Tom Watson apparently thinks it’s high time (get it?) the UK’s lawmakers pay attention to the proliferation of criminal drone use.
“[A]s 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,” he’s quoted as saying.