Lexington police nab juvenile burglary suspects with aid of drone, K-9 teams
Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green Friday said that overnight and into this morning, officers arrested 3 juveniles who were involved in a series of thefts from motor vehicles. Officers also recovered a stolen vehicle that the juveniles had used to come to the Town of Lexington.
At approximately 4:30 am, officers began investigating a suspicious vehicle that had been parked in the Gibson Terrace neighborhood off Gibson Road that was found to be stolen from Richland County. The vehicle had recently been parked there and officers, along with deputies from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, set up a perimeter around the area.
An officer from the department’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Team flew a drone over the area and found three individuals who were hiding nearby. The subjects fled into the woods where 2 subjects were tracked by a K-9 team and quickly apprehended by officers.
Officers continued searching for the 3rd subject for several hours while also taking multiple reports from residents in the Gibson Forest West and Gibson Terrace neighborhoods of items stolen from their unlocked vehicles. 3 handguns were among items reported stolen.
At approximately 8:30 am, the 3rd subject was arrested when he was found hiding beside a house in the Gibson Terrace neighborhood. 2 of the stolen handguns were found nearby under landscaping pine straw.
A K-9 team and officers continued searching the area and found the 3rd stolen handgun in the Gibson Terrace neighborhood. Officers recovered a 4rth handgun in the South Lake Village neighborhood that was believed to have been hidden by 1 of the juveniles while fleeing from officers.
“We can’t stress it enough that valuables, especially guns, should not be left in unlocked cars. These stolen handguns should never have ended up in the hands of teenagers and what could have had a tragic ending with a shooting was preventable with locked car doors,” said Chief Green. “That said, these arrests highlight the importance of both our sUAS and K-9 teams as they greatly increase the ability and effectiveness of our officers work.”
All 3 suspects are 17 and are unnamed in this news release due to being juveniles. Each subject was released to the custody of a parent and these cases will be sent to Family Court within the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for prosecution.