Teenager uses drone to catch Camano Island boat thieves

KIRO 7 speaks with the teens about how their drone piloting led to the arrest of two boat thieves.

CAMANO ISLAND, Wash. — Island County Sheriff's deputies are crediting two quick-thinking teenagers for the arrests of husband-wife boat thieves.
"We took off, started following them about 50 miles an hour, about 20 feet right above them, tilted the camera down and got a few shots," explained 14-year-old Chris Harris.  He used his drone for a high speed pursuit through the Saratoga Passage.
KIRO 7 facetimed with Chris and his friend-- now on their way home to San Francisco. They were vacationing with Chris' family on Camano Island this week when they watched a pair of thieves use a speed boat to tow away Chris' aunt and uncle's Zodiak. His friend called 911.
"I was standing there thinking there's no way to really follow them unless we were in another boat, which we don't have," Chris told us.

However, he did have a drone.
Eventually the boats got too far and the drone had to turn back, but Chris had gotten a good idea of where they were headed, and that helped deputies catch up with the pair of suspects on a beach in Langley.
"This is the first time we've had a drone used in something like this," explained Detective Ed Wallace with the Island County Sheriff's Office.
Wallace admits his department was pretty impressed.
"It was great," said Wallace. "It was quick thinking on their part and if nothing else it helped with identification too."
James and Susan Raborn were in court Thursday facing motor vehicle theft charges. After deputies arrested them in Langley, they learned the speed boat was stolen too.
"I think it's awesome we were at least able to aide in arresting these two individuals," Chris concluded.

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