Drone Helps BA Law Enforcement Capture, Identify Burglary, Carjacking Suspects

Friday, May 15th 2015, 10:41 pm
By: News On 6

The Wagoner County Sheriff's Office has identified the third suspect in Thursday's burglary, carjacking incident. A warrant was issued for his arrest Saturday, according to Major Gary Handley of the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities are looking for 20-year-old Kenny Rostron, described as a white male about 5-feet-9-inches tall and 180 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

They said Rostron lives in the west Tulsa area near Charles Page Boulevard and 49 West Avenue. He's known to use a bicycle for transportation.

Deputies ask anyone with information on where Rostron is to call the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office at 918-485-3124.

The two other suspects, Billy Simpson and Amy Jo Moore, are already in police custody.

During the breaking news we had live video from Osage SkyNews 6 HD of a standoff at Forest Ridge Gold Club in Broken Arrow where police later arrested Simpson; but our helicopter wasn't the only thing in the air.

5/14/2015 Related Story: Carjacking Leads To Standoff Near Broken Arrow Golf Course

Police had a drone in the air that helped them get a better look at what was going on.

Even though a drone isn't a standard yet, many agencies believe it's in their future.

Friday, it was much quieter on Midway Avenue than it was Thursday, when a SWAT team surrounded a home, looking for Moore.

Police searched the home and didn't find her, but a few hours later neighbors said she knocked on a garage door.

"We do rely on our citizens to call in any suspicious people calls; they know their neighborhoods better than we do," said Sergeant Thomas Cooper with Broken Arrow Police.

Multiple neighbors alerted police to suspicious activity, after the group of thieves stole a trailer, wrecked the truck they were driving, carjacked another car and then split up.

Police arrested Simpson at Forest Ridge Golf Course after a standoff.

A tool law enforcement used at both scenes was a drone, owned by a detective who just happened to have it with him.

"It was the first time we used it and it was just a coincidence it was on scene, we used it mainly to get a better picture of the area to look at the buildings," Cooper said.

The drone circled the building where Simpson was hiding and let police know what to expect before sending the Special Operations Team closer.

Cooper said, "That dimension from the top can give us a whole new picture that can help with officers - where they should be placed or areas they need to be worried about."

Teams were spread out in the backyard and throughout the property.

While the drone came in handy, it will be some time until it's a standard tool.

"There's a whole lot of legalities and procedural things to go through but as technology increases and we get a better understanding of it I think we will see it used in a law enforcement on a local level a lot more," Cooper said.

Simpson and Moore are facing at least eight charges each, including larceny, burglary, possession of a fire arm and more.

When caught, Rostron will likely face similar charges.