Smith County Sheriff releases drone video of car theft-suspect captured by officers

Drone video shows infrared tech locating car theft suspect

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A man who the Smith County Sheriff’s Office said ran from law enforcement after a DPS traffic stop was arrested after being located using a drone.

According to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, on Friday, November 23 just after midnight, a Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol trooper requested assistance near the 12900 block of Highway 155 North in Winona. This is near the intersection of Interstate 20 and State Highway 155 North. The trooper had stopped a suspected stolen vehicle and the lone occupant ran into the woods, evading the Trooper.

Numerous Smith County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies responded and set up a perimeter in the area where the suspect fled. A short time later, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office drone was requested to assist in the search.

Smith County drone
Smith County drone

The sheriff’s office said upon arrival of the drone and pilot, the drone was launched. A short time later, the drone pilot observed what he believed to be the suspect in a wooded area. The suspect began to run again, but was apprehended a short time later via the drone, which was equipped with an infrared camera.

The sheriff’s office said the drone pilot led responding officers to the location of the suspect and the suspect was apprehended without further incident.

The suspect was identified as 27-year-old Justin A. Meador of Tyler. Meador was charged with criminal mischief, theft, evading arrest or detention, possession of Marijuana, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance in a detention facility.

The sheriff’s office said all of the charges except for the Criminal Mischief were onsite charges filed by the arresting officer. The criminal mischief was the result of an outstanding warrant.

Meador’s bond was set at $32,500 by Justice of the Peace Precinct #1 Judge Quincy Beavers

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