US man arrested for drone voyeurism

When it comes to drone offenders, we guess it takes all kinds.

Here we have covered criminal activities involving drones, which have ranged from drones flying over sports stadiums, carrying contraband into a penitentiary, or across national boundaries, spooking birds off their nesting habitats; and grinding flights to a halt at big, busy airports.

Christopher Jones of Rhode Island in the US decided a drone’s amazing camera qualities to serve his creepy habit.

Jones is a convicted sex offender, whose requirement to register as a sex offender ended in 2015, before small drones became as popular and ubiquitous as they are today. But then he got his hands on one, and he certainly must have had some ideas…

Police authorities at Cranston Police Department said last week, Jones flew his drone into the home of a women in Midland Road in Cranston, and had it hovering near the bathroom window, so Jones could take a peek at the woman, who was getting ready to take bath.

“On June 21, 2023 at approximately 11:00pm the Cranston Police responded to a Midland Road address where a female stated she noticed a drone peering in her bathroom window,” the police said in a statement.

“The unidentified female filed a report with officers stating she had just returned home from work and was in her bathroom preparing to use the shower. Her bathroom window was slightly open.

“She then heard a buzzing noise and went out in the backyard thinking it had something to do with her pool. Once in the backyard she noticed a drone hovering outside her bathroom window where she was preparing to take a shower.

“When she approached the drone, it moved quickly away from her to get away and hit a branch of tree and fell to the ground. She quickly grabbed the drone before it took off and submerged it in her pool to disable it and called police to report the drone looking in her bathroom window.”

Chistopher Jones

Investigations into the intrusion led the police to Jones’ doorstep.

“On June 23, 2023 Officers and Detectives conducted a follow up investigation with the seized drone and was able to track it down to the operator identified as Christopher Jones who is a convicted sex offender,” the police added.

“Mr. Jones does not have a duty to register, since his requirement ended in 2015. Jones admitted he was the operator and was later arrested on video voyeurism charges which the law states, a person is guilty of video voyeurism when that person, for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or stimulation, looks into an occupied dwelling or other building by use of an imaging device that provides images of the interior of a dwelling.

“Christopher Jones was charged with one count of Video Voyeurism which is a felony, and is awaiting arraignment at Cranston Police headquarters.”

We shouldn’t be surprised.

But, although we do understand that there are more destructive ways in which people can abuse drone technology, we think incidents like this are why there is a lot of justification for Remote Identification requirements on all commercial drones (drones weighing 250grams and above).

In the USA, all eligible drones are required to be compliant with Remote ID regulations by September 16 this year.


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