Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sheriff's helicopter follows fleeing burglars

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - Three people are accused of burglary after they were reportedly caught breaking into a Port Charlotte business Wednesday night. Investigators are currently searching for a fourth suspect.

According to an incident report, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office helicopter responded to a burglary call at the B&M Auto Group in the Whidden Industrial Park.

When the unit arrived, authorities spotted three males running from the business and then hopping into a getaway car.

"They're bad luck is we had our aircraft up," said Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Cameron.

Investigators say the driver, later identified as 17-year-old Eric Day of Fort Myers, then turned off the car's lights to avoid getting caught.

Unfortunately for the suspects, the helicopter was equipped with night vision and infrared cameras, allowing the unit to follow them and responding patrol cars to catch up, the report said.

"They left the neighborhood with their lights off, but to the helicopter that means nothing," said Sheriff Cameron.

Day, his 15-year-old brother Darren, and Vincent Williams, 20, of Lehigh Acres, were each arrested and booked into the Charlotte County Jail.

This is the second time in as many weeks the helicopter has helped in making an arrest. Last week, the unit pursued a dangerously low-flying aircraft over Port Charlotte's hospital area.

The plane pilot was later arrested for dangerous operation of an aircraft in violation of FAA regulations.

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