Drone Surveillance Leads to Arrest of Four Suspects in Dollar General Robbery Spree

A group of four suspects has been apprehended in connection with a series of armed robberies targeting Dollar General stores across the city. The suspects, identified as Tresonda Benefield, Nathanial Carter, Jackeri Lewis, and Jakeithiyan Daniel, were taken into custody following a coordinated effort by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, which utilized drones to track their movements.

According to investigators, the suspects employed a consistent pattern in their robberies. Three of them would wait until an employee was preparing to close the store for the night, force the worker back inside at gunpoint, and demand cash from the safe. The fourth suspect would wait in a getaway vehicle, which was consistently a white Dodge Charger.

On May 1, the crew struck again, stealing over $3,400 from a Dollar General on North Main Street. However, this time, the sheriff’s department had deployed drones to monitor the suspects from above as they made their escape. The drones tracked and recorded the movements of the white Charger, allowing a SWAT team and officers to converge on the fleeing vehicle. Despite the suspects being armed during the robberies, they chose not to engage the officers when surrounded, resulting in their arrests without further violence.

Searches at two of the suspects’ residences uncovered incriminating evidence, including clothing identical to that worn during the robberies, latex gloves matching those used by the perpetrators, Dollar General bags containing stolen merchandise, three guns, ski masks, and more than $3,500 in cash.

The successful apprehension of the suspects highlights the innovative use of drone technology by law enforcement to enhance public safety and efficiently apprehend violent criminals. Drones provide a cost-effective alternative to manned aircraft support, offering rapid deployment, lower operating costs, and the ability to navigate tighter spaces.

As the use of drones becomes more prevalent in police work, criminals may need to adapt their strategies to evade these silent sky marshals. However, for now, the arrest of the “Dollar Store Bandits” serves as a testament to the effectiveness of this cutting-edge technology in the hands of law enforcement.