New Jersey State Police
On August 13, 2023, police in Absecon, NJ, were informed that a drone dropped Sea Dye, usually used for sea rescues, into a homeowner’s pool, turning it a shade of bright green. However, that wasn’t the first pool dyeing incident over that summer: the Quality Inn in Galloway Township reported incidents that actually damaged the pool’s base and resulted in lost revenue, amongst other damaged pools in the area. Once the drone had been spotted in Abescon and again at the Quality Inn, the responding police realized that they needed a way to track the drone’s movements, including its take-off location and find the perpetrator. This tool to track drone movements became especially important considering how easy and dangerous it would be for the pilot to drop nefarious chemicals instead of Sea Dye.
Since the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) knew the approximate time and location of the offending drone flight, they were able to leverage the zero-install DedroneCityWide drone detection solution and its database of over 430M drone detections and associated flight data. Dedrone enabled the NJSP, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Abescon police department to determine the drone’s take-off location. In addition to damaging several pools, they found that the pilot was navigating the drone from within a building (further violating current regulations about flying a drone Beyond Visual Line of Sight).
With the support of Dedrone, the NJSP assisted with the arrest of the pilot, who was consequently charged with several counts of criminal mischief. There have been no further pool dyeing incidents using Sea Dye since his arrest.
A local business owner used damaging chemicals to turn multiple swimming pools yellow and green over the course of the summer, according to the police, who said he was likely 'pranking people'.
SFC Michael Ward, Aviation Bureau Special Operations Section, New Jersey State Police