'Give it a shot': Drone locates B.C. man's stolen motorbike

A Vancouver Island man went to some unusual lengths to track down a stolen dirt bike.

Ryan Sandnes' bike was stolen last Friday, and despite security camera footage of the thief, RCMP hadn't made much headway in retrieving his stolen property.

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That's when he decided to investigate a different way.

"I kind of thought, 'Why don't I send the drone up?'" he told CTV Vancouver Island.

He enlisted the help of a neighbour and together came up with an idea of where the loot could be stashed.

They decided to fly the camera-equipped drone over a nearby field.

"There was a house that'd burned in there about a year ago and I had heard from various people in the area that various items that'd been stolen in the past had been found in the field. So why not give it a shot?" said Murray Thierauf.

The bike was lying at the foot of a tree.

A #Duncan man comes up with an unique way of finding his stolen dirt bike. Story tonight at 5&6 @CTVNewsVIpic.twitter.com/uoyuqnU9hY

— Andrew Garland (@CTVNewsAndy) February 11, 2016

"I honestly didn't think it would work that well," he said.

Sandnes turned over the footage to North Cowichan-Duncan RCMP, who say this is the first time they've received video evidence recorded from a drone.

Drone technology has come under fire in the province after a series of incidents. One was spotted flying in restricted airspace near Vancouver's airport in October, drawing condemnation from federal transportation officials.

Two months later and Canada's federal transportation watchdog said it was investigating several videos, possibly taken by a drone flying in the flight paths of aircraft taking off and landing in Vancouver harbour, that were posted online by a local drone operator.

Sandnes hopes that, amid the negative headlines about drones and their capabilities, his experience highlights a positive use.

"Drones are having a bad name right now because of what they could do, what could maybe happen. This is another thing that could happen. You could find your stolen property," he said.

With files from CTV Vancouver Island


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