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Criminals Are Using Drones To Find And Rob Marijuana Farms

The drones are equipped with infrared cameras to spot the lights used in grow operations.

Criminals Are Using Drones To Find And Rob Marijuana Farms
[Image: Flickr user John Mills]

Borrowing a tactic from the police, some criminals in the U.K. are using drones equipped with infrared cameras to steal or extort from marijuana grow operations.

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“They are fair game,” a 33-year-old man told Halesowen News in the U.K. “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 unnamed criminal says he got the idea after seeing police helicopters with thermal-imaging cameras, which spot the high-intensity lights used in grow operations. When he and his crew find a farm, they either steal the crops or extort the owners of the farm–a form of “tax,” he says.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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