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Tulsa officials catching suspects by plane

December 21, 2011, 05:40 pm

The Tulsa County Sheriff's deputies in Oklahoma recently acquired a new tool they can use to help catch holiday thieves. Each year, Tulsa residents fall victim to home burglars, but this year the deputies will be scouring the neighborhoods in a lightweight plane to patrol the city from the sky.

Tulsa World reported the plane was donated by a reserve deputy and was specifically designed to catch burglars. The plane is a Flight Design CTLE, and is almost as maneuverable as a helicopter. It comes equipped with high-resolution digital cameras and radios so deputies can communicate their findings with patrolmen on the ground.

In the first few days of operation, the plane helped deputies catch several burglary suspects and even directed a deputy towards a citizen with an outstanding arrest warrant. So far, the plane has exceeded its expectations for helping deputies increase their patrolling over the city during peak burglary seasons, the source reported.

Tulsa NBC news affiliate KJRH reported that the small airplane was named The Talking Bird, and has the same equipment in its cabin as Tulsa Police Department helicopters, including cameras with night vision and body heat sensing.

"It will do pretty much anything what a helicopter will do," Reserve Deputy Roger Crow told the source. "But it only carries a crew of two. It can take off and land with about 400 feet."

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