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A friend related to me by email this morning an experience she had yesterday at her home.  In her own words, " I was outside . . . when something went by, sort of low. Like a bird with its wing spread but no flapping.  It was lit up." She found the experience creepy, as would I. Both of us feel almost surely that it was a drone.  Has anyone else experienced this? As drones commonly are used for surveillance photography, wouldn't this be a form of trespass? If the drone is above your private property, would you be within your rights to knock it down and confiscate it?

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Bonnie,

 

Was this in Boquete?  About a year or so ago there was a discussion on Gringos in David Yahoo Groups about thieves using drones to scope out potential targets in residential areas of David.  They were specifically looking at backyards looking for items to steal and inspecting the level of security on the back of houses.  One crime watch member instructed people to immediately drive around your neighborhood looking for parked cars since consumer grade drones do not have long ranges.

 

As for trespassing, that would depend on who owns the airspace above your home.  I know that varies in the US, I don't know about Panama.

 

Lot's of interesting reading on this subject in the last couple of years since companies like Amazon have been testing using drones for deliveries.

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1 hour ago, Bonnie said:

If the drone is above your private property, would you be within your rights to knock it down and confiscate it?

 

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1 hour ago, Siempre Soluciones said:

Was this in Boquete? 

Yes. Sorry I didn't make that clear.

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Some drones do not contain cameras.  I bought one for my Grandson.  Real estate companies are now using drones to video properties for sale from the air as well.  The big question is, how does one tell if the drone is harmless or is scoping out your property for a break in?

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21 hours ago, MarieElaine said:

Some drones do not contain cameras.  I bought one for my Grandson.  Real estate companies are now using drones to video properties for sale from the air as well.  The big question is, how does one tell if the drone is harmless or is scoping out your property for a break in?

Exactly. I don't think the burden should be on the property owner to ascertain the purpose of the drone. It seems to me that it's an invasion of privacy and/or trespass. But I'm interested in what the property owner can do legally in the event that a drone unexpectedly appears near their home.

 

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Bonnie, about 3 months ago I saw a drone one night late, with a red light on it, between your house and mine, over the coffee field.   I have no idea what it was doing, but perhaps they can scope out what is in or around a house for a future robbery.  I will say, it was late enough at night that I doubt it was kids playing, and I doubt they were filming to market a house.   If I see it again, I am going to alert my neighbors to be extra vigilant just in case it is malientes.  I don't remember a robbery near us since the evening that I spotted it, so I guess it could have been benign, or they didn't see anything they thought worth the risk to steal.  Hopefully, their drone sees my security cameras.  

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