As the manhunt for ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner enters its second week, authorities said they plan to use spy drones in their search for the elusive and disgruntled former cop.
Traditional manhunt tactics aren’t sufficient in the effort to find Dorner, a 33-year-old former LAPD officer who wrote a manifesto claiming he was unjustly fired by the department when a board determined he made false statements about police brutality, a senior police source told The Express.
“The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him,” the source said. “On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
The manhunt for Dorner was set off after the disgruntled former officer was suspected of shooting and killing three people over three days last week. The victims were Monica Quan, daughter of former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan; Randy Lawrence, Quan’s fiancée; and LAPD Officer Michael Crain.
The U.K. paper said the use of drones in the manhunt for Dorner makes the former U.S. Navy lieutenant “the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on U.S. soil.”
Ralph DeSio, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, confirmed that drones are being used in the search for Dorner.
““This agency has been at the forefront of domestic use of drones by law enforcement. That’s all I can say at the moment,” he told The Express.
The manhunt for Dorner caused the ski resort area of Big Bear Lake, Calif., to put under lockdown last Thursday. Dorner’s torched truck was found in the area, leading authorities to believe at the time that the disgruntled cop was hiding out in Big Bear Lake.
Sunday night’s Grammy Awards were conducted under heightened security after Dorner wrote in his manifesto that he might target police details for large events such as the awards show.
An unprecedented $1 million reward has been offered by the city of Los Angeles for information leading to Dorner’s conviction and arrest.
"Our dedication to catch this killer remains steadfast. Our confidence remains unshaken," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “We will not tolerate this reign of terror.”
The announcement of the reward Sunday yielded a bunch of tips about Dorner’s whereabouts, including one tipster who said the former cop was inside a Lowe’s Home Improvement store in the San Fernando Valley. Cops cornered the store after the tip, but there was no sign of Dorner or evidence that he had been in the Lowe’s.
Despite the $1 million reward, the largest ever offered by Los Angeles, authorities are no closer to finding Dorner, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The paper, citing officials, said there had been “no reported sightings” and no new evidence that links Dorner to Southern California.
The disgruntled ex-officer is considered to be armed and dangerous.
“To be honest, he could be anywhere right now,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told The Express. “Torching his own vehicle could have been a diversion to throw us off track. Anything is possible with this man.”