The Lodi Police Department’s unmanned aerial vehicle proved useful once again when officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Monday, helping them to track and apprehend the suspect.

While officers were approaching a residence on the 300 block of Maple Street at approximately noon Monday, 43-year-old Timothy Juarez of Lodi fled on foot and began jumping fences into other yards, according to a post on the Lodi Police Department’s Facebook page.

Police deployed the UAV, which they used to track Juarez and direct officers to his location where they arrested him on suspicion of the outstanding felony warrant, prowling and resisting arrest.

Since purchasing the UAV in March 2018, Detective Michael Hitchcock said police have used it in roughly 10 arrests.

“One way or another, it was used,” he said.

Although Hitchcock only had the UAV in the air for about five minutes during Monday’s arrest, he said it can be in the air for much longer.

“I’ve had it in the are for an hour and a half to two hours,” he said.

The batteries last for 20 to 25 minutes, Hitchcock said, meaning they have to be changed frequently for those long flights.

In addition to searching for suspects during pursuits, Hitchcock said the UAV can also be used when serving high-risk warrants or during search and rescue operations at Lodi Lake.

“We use it a lot for taking pictures of crime scenes, too,” he said. “You can get a better angle and see where everything is.”

Contact reporter John Bays at

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