Unmanned drones are being piloted over private homes by burglars in a bid to identify potential targets, police have confirmed.
Detectives fear the mini-helicopters, which can be bought for as little as £30, are being deployed to take surveillance photographs from above, posing a brand new threat to home security.
Suffolk Constabulary confirmed it had received at least one report of drones being used by burglars to “case” properties.
The drones are highly-manoeuvrable and – depending on the model – can carry advanced, high definition cameras which can capture video and still images.
It is feared that because the technology allows thieves to explore properties from the air they will be used to identify security weak spots, such as older-style patio or French doors which can be easily forced.
Because of their abilities to get close-in to potential targets, drones are thought to present an even greater threat than websites such as Google’s Street View and Google Earth services, which have previously been accused of assisting thieves with satellite and kerb-side images of properties.
Larger homes with substantial grounds may be the most likely target for thieves using drones.