LEAPS helps catch burglary suspect

LANCASTER – Lancaster’s “Eye in the Sky” helped deputies catch a suspect minutes after a burglary was committed at an east Lancaster home, authorities said.

The alleged thief, 21-year-old Keymal Rucker, was arrested for burglary around 3:45 p.m. Friday (Dec. 21) and booked at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station on $50,000 bail.

The following is the press report from the Lancaster Station:

Lancaster Station Deputies responded to a burglary in progress call at a residence in the 1200 E. Block of Pondera Street.

The Law Enforcement Aerial Platform System (L.E.A.P.S.) airplane was immediately deployed and provided aerial surveillance for responding ground deputies.

The LEAPS operator saw the suspect (Keymal Rucker) attempt to evade deputies by running from the residence and through several neighboring back yards.

The suspect was seen running into a residence on nearby Caperton Street, and the LEAPS operator coordinated with ground deputies to orchestrate a containment and safe arrest of the suspect.

The occupants of the Caperton residence were later identified as acquaintances of the suspect, and no individuals in this incident were injured.

Suspect Rucker was arrested for burglary and booked at Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.

  72 comments for “LEAPS helps catch burglary suspect

  1. MG
    December 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I just can not believe the Sherrif Dept can’t do thier job with out the LEAPING PLANE. SAD

    • Turd Ferguson
      December 30, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      We can do nothing without LEAPS.We can do nothing without LEAPS.No crime was ever solved without LEAPS.No crime was ever solved without LEAPS.we are dimmed without LEAPS.$90,000.00 a month for LEAPS.what a waste of tax payer money.No to LEAPS.No to LEAPS.

  2. MG
    December 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    @ Adam Why are you spining this “Spy Plane” issue? Calling us ingnorants, this only brings to question the efficency of the Sherrif Dept. Can they do their job without this plane?
    and this thing about only a few people have access to the information this the plane is gathering? Is that supposed to make us feel better? in a time when our right to privacy is being under attack?
    This are legitiment concers.
    Next time you call concern citizen ingnorant, I suggest you first take a look at the mirrow.

  3. December 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I have a 83 year old mother and i feel better that that plane is up.

    • Resident Cynic
      December 25, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      That plane ain’t doing doodly squat to protect your mother or mine. One more reason why we’re the laughing stock of LA county.

      • December 26, 2012 at 10:36 am

        Well it sent one person to jail so it worked

        • Resident Cynic
          December 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

          Yup. A $450,000 dollar burglar. No different than all the other burglars who were caught recently, except that they were caught without the spy plane and for a lot less dough. What a flipping waste of tax dollars. Makes the Chevy Volt look like a bargain.

      • December 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

        And it will keep putting these low lifes that moved up here from Down below in jail. That what i like about leeps.

        • Resident Cynic
          December 26, 2012 at 10:53 am

          Uh, it has supposedly helped catch one burglar since August. This is something that could have been done with the LASD helicopter that we already pay for. Or it could have been done without it just like all the other burglars who are caught across our great country without a spy plane. We could be saving a million bucks a year. That’s what I and the majority of people don’t like about the plane. It is expensive, it isn’t lowering crime, and it just isn’t working. Facts are a brutal thing sometimes.

      • December 26, 2012 at 10:52 am

        Well like trash trucks that pick up the trash here in lancaster we need there service.And for all the trash that moved here from down below we got leeps to pick up the trash and put it in jail

        • December 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

          Thats why i voted for rex to protect and serve

          • Captain Bacon
            December 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm

            You are right. Rex does protect and serve. He protects and serves his pals who are selling us Leaps. It don’t matter how much it costs us, or if it sucks, it just matters that his pals are protected and served.

            Captain Bacon

  4. dumbandblind
    December 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    So much taxpayer funds spent on catching one burglar who will then be released immediately or shall have served only 10% of his sentence due to overcrowding in prison.

  5. dumbandblind
    December 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Imagine if the $90,000 a month was used instead for a reward program leading to the capture of dirtbags…

  6. Barry Bigtoe
    December 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    AeroView, the outfit that provides their one client the camera system for the plane is at 244 E. Ave K-4. What a nice facility. Have a look. http://goo.gl/maps/URsfk

    • Adam Chant
      December 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Aero View is located in the same facility as Spiral Technology because they are associated businesses. Their facility is nice because they are both a commercial and government contractor that had $10.5M in revenues in 2011.

  7. Barry Bigtoe
    December 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Since a plane can only fly by a situation then has to do a lengthy turnaround to come back past a situation, it seems a great deal of “luck” is needed to be overhead during the minute or two that anything actually happens.

    • SNT
      December 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      You are right, it looks like the Sherrifs scored this time, too bad the plane was not flying above the jewely store on the BLVD across the street form them when it was robed and the stubbings and countless incidents that are taking place on THE BLVD.

  8. Frank Rizzo
    December 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    LEAP can go take a flying leap. Iam getting tired of the noise polution of this POS flying around.

  9. William
    December 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Apparently, Fox won the recount by even more votes. I posted an article on the Readers Speak Out section.

    • Palmdale_Steve
      December 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Maybe Fox is off house hunting up by where the Runners live now.

      • Palmdale_Steve
        December 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

        Doh! Deputy Dog Smith I meant.

  10. William
    December 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Think of it this way. As long as you’re gonna have crime in your city, make the most of it PR-wise by having a fancy plane help catch the criminals.

    That way, your efforts to prevent crime will get less attention.

    Maybe Rex will start parading the captured criminals down the BLVD to draw crowds and business to it. Set up some gallows or a guillotine.

    “Get yer photo taken with the prisoner- 5 francs”.

  11. MG
    December 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Unemployed residents of Lancaster would love to make 1/2 of $90,000.00 A YEAR, MR. Parris is giving his friends $90,000.00 A MONTH! A MONTH! for a USELESS SECOND OR THIRD HAND plane, hmmm something to think about.

  12. ed
    December 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Dispite all the hogwash, this is still a violation of our Fourth Amendment Rights. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,……”. A constant look into my back yard or into my house is not probable cause.

    • Palmdale_Steve
      December 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm


      But the constitution says, “houses”, not your back yard. The exact term is “reasonable expectation of privacy”.


      • MG
        December 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

        The camera is Infrared, it can “see” what you are doing in your home. We are paying $90,000.00 a month

        • MG
          December 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm

          $90,000.00 a month for the peep show.

        • Adam Chant
          December 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

          Well since the Turd and other TROLLS have decided to once again spew their constant misinformation about LEAPS I will follow up with an attempt to convey accurate and knowledgeable information so that people can make an educated decision on its future usage.

          1. LEAPS doesn’t yet cost $90,000 a month. In the contract that has been posted numerous times on this site it does not incur an additional cost above the initial $1.3M until after 12 months of operation. It’s to be noted that there were a number of delays in the operation of LEAPS so it’s only been officially operating for around 6 months. HOWEVER – TAKE NOTE – The incident published above and another in August are only two of numerous instances where it was used to assist deputies in the field. Normal operational observance of traffic stops, loitering over emergent calls and general patrol are not seen as “newsworthy” and don’t result in published news stories. We’ll likely see a “score card” as it gets closer to the council approving the $90,000/month operation fee and the community needs to be diligent at that time with questions about the cost/benefits of LEAPS. IT DOES NOT CURRENTLY COST $90K/month to operate.

          2. The Optical Video/IR imaging that is utilized in LEAPS and the FLIR system used on AERO Helicopters is only observed by sworn and trained LASD deputies and that has been proven numerous times to NOT be a violation of the Fourth Amendment in both state and federal courts.

          3. IR CAN NOT SEE THROUGH WALLS OR EVEN WINDOWS…CAN NOT see through W_I_N_D_O_W_S. There is a lot of misinformation about infrared technology and it’s often confused with what is seen in TV/movies that is actually more advanced radar/sonar/Xray imaging systems. Infrared is the emission of heat from and object in the form of a light wave visible with the proper sensor; in this case a camera. The fact is that anything that can block heat will block the emission from reaching the sensor and that includes; windows, walls and in most cases materials used in clothing. The optical camera used in LEAPS is more invasive than IR because it can see through glass and windows, where IR can not.

          4. There is some open debate about this, but as far as both Lancaster and Palmdale LASD are concerned Aero services are supplemental to the base contracts with the cities. It literally costs over $850/hr to operate the LASD helicopter and it hosts 2 highly trained veteran deputies making over $100K/yr each before overtime and benefits are calculated. LEAPS costs $297/hr and that includes the pilot. Lancaster and Palmdale have the two largest contracts with LASD and when you consider the geographic area of coverage (equal to more than 5 other LASD station areas) it would be the sweetest deal ever if Aero was included in the base contract. EVEN if it is, it would be limited to a maximum number of hours for both vehicle operation and pilot availability. Turboshaft engines and helicopters have exponentially higher maintenance costs than piston engines and fixed wing aircraft. It’s literally like having a Ferrari and a Honda; they both can complete the same task, but Honda can do it for a fraction of the price and for about 1o times as long.

          5. LEAPS is a tool used by LASD to optimize the resources available within a given budget. It doesn’t replace any boots on the ground and only supplements the observability of the community as necessary from a vantage point affording the viewer the best possible view of and area of interest. Ultimately the most expensive cost of law enforcement is human labor so any time you can supplement that with tools that increase the effective area of influence it will save money.
          “We could just get rid of all of the cars, radios and computers then put a deputy on every street corner. If an event happens they could see it and yell the notice to other deputies to assist. We would save tons of money on not having all of that hardware.. boots on the ground..” That’s how ignorant some comments here sound to people in law enforcement..

          Understand the facts and keep an eye open for LEAPS. If it turns out to be a boondoggle then lets tell the City of Lancaster to stop funding it, but if it does in fact work as advertised then be thankful for affordable technology that makes everyone’s life better.

          • MG
            December 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm

            Thanks for the info, so, we did not pay 1.2 mil. we paid 1.3m hmmm, that makes it about 108,000.00 a month, and next year it will go down to $90,000.00 Hmmmm hwy don’t i feel better about this?

          • Turd Ferguson
            December 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm

            We finally agree Adam Chant.We finally agree Adam Chant.You are right.You are right.LEAPS cannot see through walls.LEAPS cannot see through walls.Even though Rex wanted to see through walls.And spy on people.LEAPS cannot see through walls.You are right there but wrong everywhere else.You are wrong everywhere else.LEAPS does cost $90,000.00 a month.LEAPS does cost $90,000.00 a month.It was in the paper.It was in the paper.On August 22.It said The City Council voted in November to spend $1.3 million in startup and operational costs for the plane, which included the first year of service.So you are wrong Adam Chant.You are wrong.LEAPS cost us $90,000.00 a month.You are wrong Adam Chant.You also say only sworn deputies see the video.You also say only sworn deputies see the video.You trust Mayor Paris more than we do.You trust Mayor Paris more than we do.You say there is debate about Lancaster and Palmdale LASD having Aero services supplemental in the contract.Only Lancaster has LEAPS.Only Lancaster has LEAPS.Palmdale does not have LEAPS. Palmdale does not have LEAPS. Santa Clarita does not have LEAPS. Northridge does not have LEAPS. Victorville does not have LEAPS. Apple Valley does not have LEAPS. Rosamond does not have LEAPS. No one has LEAPS.No one wants LEAPS.Only Mayor Paris.And his friend Frank Visco.And Adam Chant.They tried to sell LEAPS.They tried to sell LEAPS.They would not let the press in.They would not let the press in.No one wanted LEAPS.No one wanted LEAPS.We do not want LEAPS.We do not want LEAPS.We want more sherriffs.We want more sherriffs.We have great sheriffs.We want more boots on the ground.More boots on the ground.You said LEAPS was a tools used by LASD.That is not true.That is not true.It is only used in our Lancaster.LASD is not using it.Only in Lancaster.Everyone else knows it is a joke.Everyone else knows we pay for a heliocopter in our contract.Everyone knows we get a heliocopter when we need one.I see heliocopters all the time.I see them fighting crime.I see LEAPS and I see crime going up.No to LEAPS.No to LEAPS.Hire more sherriffs.Then crime will go down.We have seen LEAPS.We have seen what LEAPS can do.It does nothing.Crime has gone up.Crime has gone up.We have seen what sherriffs can do.We want more sherriffs.We do not want LEAPS.No to LEAPS. No to LEAPS.

      • Frank Rizzo
        December 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm

        thats right is says reasonable. Paying for the police to have surveillance over the public is not reasonable.

    • sikntired
      December 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      Don’t think they are constantly looking anywhere, are they? Why would they be constantly looking in your backyard?

  13. Anything for a laugh
    December 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    One burglar for how much? What does the LASD helocopter do which we’re alredy paying for while we send up a second aircradt Raymond? You seem to love goofy notions that get you media exposure at taxpayer’s expense.

    • Michael Rives
      December 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

      The Sheriff’s Dept has a copter with the same video capaibility as LEAP. We contract out to the LASO for law enforcement and get it free. Why do we have to shell out money for LEAP?

  14. William
    December 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    What do the safest cities around the country do that can be replicated in Palmdale and Lancaster?

    Do they have ‘eyes in the skies’ or what?

    Is it a function of how rich they are or the demographics?

    • Dave
      December 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      Elect responsible people to office.

      • William
        December 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm

        But, of course.

        It’s funny. Although Parris brags that Lancaster has more sales tax revenue than Palmdale, I believe that the crimes statistics are worse in Lancaster.

        So, where’s the money goin’?

        • Have faith in our leaders
          December 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm

          William, be reasonable. Who’s got time to keep track of revenue. A couple of trees here, some bird chirping CDs there. It costs money to run Lancaster the way our mayor sees fit. Just trust our hard working, dedicated and honest council. They have our best interests at heart, honest. After all, if they were not doing there best, how could they have gotten elected in the first place.

          • William
            December 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

            You are so right. What was I thinking?

      • Gladys
        December 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm

        Have their own police dept.

        • Thomas
          December 24, 2012 at 8:41 am

          A police department would cost more than Lasd. But it might be worth it.

        • SgtFrank
          December 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

          A police department would allow our Rex to hire a chief and a couple of hundred employees and award some building contracts. How comfortable are you with that? Then there’s the pension benefits. It drove Vallejo and Stockton bankrupt.

    • Otto
      December 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      It’s demographics. The A.V. is loaded with scumbags, and places like Carmel, Beverly Hills, etc. are not.

      • PeaceInTheAV
        December 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

        LOL Carmel, Beverly Hills, etc. ARE filled with scumbags with more money, power, and the capability to keep attention from them and are allowed to ‘retire’ or reasonably leave abused positions to avoid public attention, so that they may keep a clean record and carry on elsewhere….scum is scum no matter what color collar they have and the AV is filled with an equal number of scumbags with ‘white’ collars. The difference is that people fear the ones on the streets and next door, but want to ignore the ones in positions of power and pretend that they have our best interests at heart. It’s probably because those people smile when they steal from you and threaten you with cameras instead of fists. Little do you know, that more is stolen from higher numbers of citizens in our AV cities by pen than by gun. They just take a little from you at a time on a regular basis, where if you are a victim of a ‘crime’ like a robbery, it is in your face and more fearful and that person is right there threatening you directly. But when people in power do it, it is quietly and often with our permission by vote or ignorance of law or ignorance of the knowlegdge of proper use of public funds. I argue to say that more people in our community have lost more money that way than by ‘violent crime’….we are consistently giving up our rights VOLUNTARILY. Now that…..is truly insanity.

        • SNT
          December 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm

          well said

  15. MG
    December 22, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Comical, just Comical, $90,000.00 a month for Mr. Vizco’s used plane, they seem deperate to report anything they can about the silly plane, this has the feel of thier silly “Awards” propaganda. Mr. Mayor (emperor) put your clothe on, we are not buying what you are selling.

  16. Turd Ferguson
    December 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    LEAPS helped catch a burglar!LEAPS helped catch a burglar!For $90,000.00 a month LEAPS helped catch a burglar.Close the BLVD and have a parade.Close the BLVD and have a parade!LEAPS has been flying since August.For $90,000.00 a month.It caught one burglar.Since August.How much did it cost for one burglar?How much did it cost for one burglar?$90,000.00 in August.?$90,000.00 in September.?$90,000.00 in October.?$90,000.00 in November.?$90,000.00 in December.Add it all up.Add it all up.$450,000.00 to catch one burglar.$450,000 to catch one burglar!When the heliocopter could do the same thing.For less than $450,000.00.Burglars were caught last night in other cities without a $90,000.00 a month LEAPS.Burglars will be caught tonight without a $90,000.00 a month LEAPS.No wonder no body wants to buy LEAPS.For $450,000.00 you could hire sherriffs.We have great sherriffs.We need more sherriffs.More boots on the ground.No to the $450,000.00 LEAPS that catches one burglar.No to LEAPS.We have a sherriffs heliocopter that we already pay for.Use what we pay for.Use what we pay for.Quit wasting our money.No to LEAPS!No to LEAPS!Yes to sherriffs.Yes to sherriffs.Yes to boots on the ground.Yes to boots on the ground.

    • Letlow
      December 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      LOL!! I was wondering when you would chime in!

  17. Palmdale_Steve
    December 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Does the LEAPS airplane and crew get to paint confirmed “kills”, or in this case arrests, on the side of the plane?

    How about nose art?

    I could really see a giant T-Rex painted on the nose of the plane which would be a great thing and make evil-doers in Lancaster fearful.

    • William
      December 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      Someone suggested that it pull a banner advertizing his law firm behind it.

  18. Yo Mama
    December 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a first? I mean, they have to print something they’ve done right…

  19. William
    December 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I have it on questionable authority that Parris hired this guy to impersonate a burglar so as to justify the spy in the sky.

    • Frank Rizzo
      December 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      whenever I post the truth about Paris it never gets published on this site, william I had a good actual response about parris hiring people to do illegal activities to win court cases and this site will not post it.

      • William
        December 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

        I’m guessing that Parris’s ‘tough on crime’ stance is merely a ‘turf war’ between amateurs and Parris and his professional ‘criminals’ in Lancaster.

        • dumbandblind
          December 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm

          I wonder why your comment has a lot of down votes.

          • :(
            December 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

            Rex has discovered social media, and makes his followers come here to vote against any “mean” things said about him. LOL You show em Rex. They’ll think twice about bad mouthing you now! hahahahahaha

  20. Sanadia
    December 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

    So how many crimes has this plane in the sky help solve? I prefer helicopters because they are quick, have a big lights, but then I know the mayor has to be pleased. But at $90,000. per month while people are still sleeping out in the cold due to being homeless and not enough shelters in this extreme cold weather.
    I wish to see a report as to how many crimes have been solved with this spy plane?

  21. Sean McConnor
    December 22, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Again, we would be better off using taxpayer funds to have a sheriff’s helicopter flying over the AV instead of the Visco plane. The plane has limited hours. A sheriff’s helicopter could have more hours. Why is it when LEAP does one thing it is publicized as sensational? Next year, we will be paying 90,000 bucks a month for this thing.

    • AV
      December 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Some of you people are just plain goofy. Absolutely nothing will please you. First you whine when you think it’s not doing anything useful, then whine when it does exactly what it was supposed to do.

      What makes you think the plane has limited hours? It’s only limited by the number of hours the city wants it to be available. That can change with the stroke of a pen.

      What makes you think helicopters don’t have limitations? That statement makes no sense at all. Does Lancaster even have a helicopter here 24/7, or is it called in as needed?

      Lastly what does Lancaster pay per hour for the helicopter vs the plane?

    • Anon
      December 22, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Choppers cost 4 times as much to fly as Cessnas do. And the Sheriffs chopper already patrols over Lancaster. This is an additional benefit. Also the chopper would never patrol ONLY our city like this plane does. They have to go all over the county. I think its a good thing and will probably only get better. If it makes a few of our way too many local dirtbags worry a bit and look up in the air before they do their dirty deeds, its worth it. Maybe they’ll move to some other town.

  22. Michael Rives
    December 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Again, we would be better off using taxpayer funds to have a sheriff’s helicopter flying over the AV instead of the Visco plane. The plane has limited hours. A sheriff’s helicopter could have more hours. Why is it when LEAP does one thing it is publicized as sensational? Next year, we will be paying 90,000 bucks a month for this thing.

    • Sean McConnor
      December 22, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Sorry about the duplicate reply. I wrote with my pen name.

  23. QHR
    December 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Good! Glad to see some return on the investment.

    • Resident Cynic
      December 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Return on investment? Over a million bucks a year and only one burglar caught? Let me guess: you’re not a financial advisor, right?

      • William
        December 24, 2012 at 10:34 am

        Maybe the plane is mapping Lancaster for Google Earth on the side.

      • William
        December 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

        What they are gonna have to do, is make sure that the ‘eye in the sky’ is somehow involved in more cases, even if it’s not actually the major asset used.

        So, even if a suspect is already being chased and close to being caught on the ground, the LEAPs thingy will be attached to the story so Parris can boast.

        Just guessing. I wouldn’t put it past him.

      • dumbandblind
        December 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm

        Best reply ever!

  24. Gladys
    December 22, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Excellent! I for one am glad to hear this news. I do have a question: When LEAPS is dispatched, does a neighborhood still get 10+ cars responding, speeding through neighborhoods without telling residents anything other than “go back in your house and lock the doors”? For example: the Sprint store shoplifter/thief, chased into the neighborhood @ 44600 block of Shadowcrest Drive from the Valley Central area? This was an incident that happened this past week during daylight hours.

    • Gladys
      December 22, 2012 at 11:48 am

      a thumbs down, but no answer to my real question about a real situation?

      • Uncle Tom
        December 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm

        Not sure why the thumbs down, its a valid question. Let me give it a try to answer it based on my knowledge.

        Any law enforcement department attempt to use whatever resources are at their disposal. Each situation will garner a different response based on available resources and the type of crime/information about suspect. Anything ‘In Progress’ will likely get additional resources (Units) sent as they have a greater chance at catching somebody. If its a violent crime, or if they are told the suspect is armed with a weapon, especially a firearm, you will get additional units.

        LEAPS itself can not throw the handcuffs on a suspect. Its a tool, a resource used to help responding deputies to find and track people (they could be criminals, or maybe they are somebody of diminished mental capacity who has wandered off from their home).

        So now with that information, the answer to your question is: LEAPS may have some effect on how many cars flood a neighborhood, but likely negligible.

        • Gladys
          December 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm

          Thanks. I appreciate your answer. The plane could communicate where the guy or guys ran to hide, and the deputies had to come get him/them and surround the area so he couldn’t get away. Makes sense.

Comments are closed.