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MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) — Murrysville Police used a drone to help them catch two vehicle theft suspects who ran into a wooded area Monday.
Officers were sent to State Route 22 West near Rick’s Sports Bar around 4 a.m. for a report of a single-vehicle accident. While officers were on their way to the scene, they learned two suspects were seen getting out of the vehicle and running into a nearby wooded area.
When officers arrived, they found the vehicle, which had major damage to the front end. Officers also noticed there was a large flat screen television in a box in the back seat. Officers then learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Springdale.
Able to travel at 40 miles per hour and equipped with high definition and infrared cameras, Murrysville Police deployed their drone.
A short time later, the camera showed what appeared to be two heat signatures in the woods. When the drone was lowered closer to the heat signatures, the figures began to run and the officer was able to determine that the heat signatures were from two people.
“This is one of those cases where, you know, we had eyes in the sky, if you’d call it that. It was able to help us zero in on the suspects,” Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said.
Officers set up a perimeter around the area while continuing to follow the two suspects with the drone.
According to a criminal complaint, one suspect eventually yelled, “OK, we give up.” Both were taken into custody just before 4:50 a.m.
“Yeah, they kinda knew it was over when there was a drone on them, they realized they were done. The drone paid off. We look all the time at new ways, new technology and equipment to combat crime. This is our first official find, a good find with a stolen vehicle and two suspects,” Seefeld said.
The suspects were identified as 18-year-old Zymire Wilson and 20-year-old Michael Lipovsik. Both had active warrants.
According to police, Wilson told officers, “We didn’t realize that car was stolen until I saw you guys chasing us with that thing in the sky.”
Police say Wilson initially claimed a third person was driving at the time of the crash, but he later admitted he was the driver but said he did not steal the vehicle.
Both men face a range of felony theft and conspiracy counts. Wilson is being held without bond. Lipovsik is set to be arraigned after he’s released from the hospital for treatment to injuries from the cars crash.