Teen arrested over violent burglary following airport drone alert

A teenager has been arrested over a violent burglary in which a woman was dragged out of her bed at gunpoint by an intruder who broke into her Birmingham home.

The arrest came after police were called to Sheldon Heath Road, near Birmingham Airport, at 4.45pm yesterday (23 Jan) following reports of an airborne drone.

Officers encountered a group of masked youths who claimed to be using the drone to film a grime music video.

However, alert cops spotted a Mazda nearby suspected of being stolen during a burglary in the early hours of New Year’s Day in Kingstanding – and which is linked to the armed burglary two days ago in Erdington when a 26-year-old woman’s car was stolen.

A 19-year-old man from the Garretts Green area of Birmingham was arrested in connection with the car-key burglary and remains in police custody.

The vehicle has been seized for a forensic examination.

The ‘pilot’ was spoken to by officers about the use of drones in close proximity to an airport but no aviation offences were identified and no further arrests were made.

A National Police Air Service helicopter based at Birmingham Airport supported West Midlands Police during the incident.

The crew on-board the helicopter picked out suspects after spotting heat sources from two parked cars and guided officers on the ground towards them.

Ian Vause, National Police Air Service Assistant Operations Director, said:

“Our crew has shown great tenacity in helping locate the suspects, making full use of the thermal imaging equipment they have at their disposal.

“We’re pleased to have been able to support West Midlands Police, who we had full communication with on the ground, to help bring this incident to a safe conclusion.”

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