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Video: Pilot gets doorbell camera alert, helps LEOs track suspects from sky

A sheriff’s office helicopter was in flight when the pilot received an alert from his house, which showed a teen trying to break into his car

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A still from the helicopter’s video camera shows three suspects fleeing their car after deputies disabled it with stop sticks.

Photo/Volusia Sheriff’s Office/Seminole County Sheriff’s Office

By Lina Ruiz
Orlando Sentinel

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A Seminole County Sheriff’s Office helicopter pilot was out on a flight early Sunday when he spotted a group of vehicle burglars — not from the air, but through an alert from his home’s doorbell camera, authorities said.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the Seminole pilot was airborne about 2 a.m. when his personal Ring camera alerted him of a teen dressed in black clothing attempting to open the passenger door of a white truck parked outside his home.

The teen and another young person were checking for unlocked cars as an Acura RDX SUV followed the pair through the pilot’s Deltona neighborhood, a VCSO press release said.

The pilot alerted Volusia authorities, who spotted the SUV from the air. Deputies tried to pull it over, but it sped off into Seminole County, officials said. Deputies later used stop sticks to pop the SUV’s tires. Helicopter footage shows the suspects jumping out the moving car in Sanford as it slowed down.

Three teenagers were taken into custody, ages 14, 15 and 16, VCSO spokesman Andrew Gant said. He said the teens have been linked by investigators to several car break-ins in Deltona. Gant said the SUV had been reported stolen. Inside, he said deputies found several wallets, a ski mask and a window breaching tool.

©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)