DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona Beach Police Department says for the first time, its officers have arrested a suspect with the help of a drone.

  • Daytona Beach PD use drone to arrest suspect
  • Used drone to find suspect on top of roof
  • 23-year-old suspect accused of attempted burglary

It’s a highlight of law enforcement agencies investing in high-tech tools.

Sgt. Tim Ehrenkaufer says officers were called out to North Oleander Avenue in Daytona Beach around 3 a.m. Wednesday to the report of a suspicious person.

The suspect, who is accused of attempting to burglarize a home, led officers on a short chase, eventually climbing onto the roof of a four-unit house on North Peninsula Drive.

“He was up on the roof, it’s pitch black, and within a minute of the drone going up with the FLIR (forward-looking infrared), we found him,” Ehrenkaufer said.

Officers say when they first spotted 23-year-old Anthony Rivers Jr. a few houses away, he ran off, jumping a 15-foot fence before climbing onto several roofs.

“It’s hard to say how it would have turned out without it,” Ehrenkaufer said.

The department has been in training for six months, ensuring there are multiple officers on each shift adequately trained to operate the drone.

Ehrenkaufer says the drone itself will not replace the use of a helicopter, but it will speed up responses to scenes and allow them to get closer to difficult situations. 

Reyes is charged with attempted burglary of a residence, burglary of a dwelling, and resisting officers without violence.