The drone pilot and alleged thief arrested in Mexico City. The drone pilot and alleged thief arrested in Mexico City.

Mexico City thief used drone surveillance to execute home robberies

Police chief says it is first case in which a drone has been used for robbery

For both cops and robbers, drones can be useful tools. Mexico City police arrested a man this week who used the devices to monitor his targets’ homes and plan his robberies.

But it was a miscalculation that put Francisco Alejandro Martínez Segovia, 42, in the hands of the authorities. He was found yesterday inside an apartment in the southern borough of Coyoacán by a very surprised homeowner.

The woman’s screams alerted neighbors, who called police.

After his arrest, Martínez admitted that he had broken into at least 20 other homes and apartments throughout Mexico City.

He was found carrying a pistol, Cartier jewelry valued at over 600,000 pesos (US $32,000), special lock-picking equipment and two drones.

He told authorities that he used the drones to make sure the coast was clear before breaking in.

Police chief Raymundo Collins Flores told a press conference that the case was the first in which a thief had employed a drone.

But organized crime has been using the unmanned aerial devices for years. A study entitled Drones: Technology at the Service of Transnational Criminal Organizations, reported there was widespread use of drones by organized crime on both sides of the Mexico-United States border.

It cited Mexican estimates that drug-carrying drones operated by Mexican cartels made 850 flights into the U.S. between 2012 and 2017, outflanking efforts by authorities to stop them.

Source: Milenio (sp), MVS Noticias (sp), Contralínea (sp)

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