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Tactical Robot Aided in Search for South Dakota Fugitive

State of South Dakota (by permission)
State of South Dakota (by permission)

Days after the arrest of a fugitive, law enforcement revealed their secret weapon, a tactical robot.  Having the right tool for the job proved to be beneficial for South Dakota law enforcement as they searched in numerous days and locations for fugitive Chas Van Orman.

A tactical robot, collectively purchased by the Minnehaha County
Sheriff’s Office, Sioux Falls Police Department and the Division of Criminal
Investigation, aided in the search for Van Orman, who was arrested August 3rd, in Lake County, South Dakota. The search began days earlier with a report of a stolen vehicle near Larchwood Iowa, a police pursuit from Lyon County Iowa that continued to a ground search in East Sioux Falls. Van Orman and a possible second suspect fled the scene and eluded police. The search ended with a tip of a suspicious vehicle in the Chester area, which lead authorities to investigate and implement the use of the robot.

“This operation demonstrates why we are so fortunate in South Dakota to have local government and legislative support to provide our officers with the state-of-the-art equipment to protect them and our communities,” said Attorney General Jackley.

The robot is equipped with multiple cameras, a light, and 2 way communications with the ability to listen to surroundings. The robot is equipped to knock on the residence door, go inside and show authorities what and who may be inside, all while authorities are at a safe distance.

VanOrman has been charged in Lake County on one count of burglary and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle.


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