SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Neighbors say they’re furious over a drone that’s flying over the neighborhood, and we’ve found out it’s tied to a government agency not many people have even heard of.

The mysterious drone has been spotted during late-night hours, hovering over residential neighborhoods and looking down on homes.

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John Mattox first spotted the mysterious drone about a month ago.

“The drone would fly over here, come over my neighbor’s house, fly over our house right here,” he said. “You come home from work, it would be operating, go to bed it was still operating, and this would repeat day after day.”

His neighbors in Sacramento’s upper Land Park neighborhood wondered what it was doing.

“It just doesn’t feel good,” said Ben Allen. “It hovers around. You don’t know what they’re looking at and monitoring.”

Neighbors say they’ve heard the drone flying in the early morning hours, well before sunrise.

This week, they learned it’s being flown by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA). It manages two nearby housing communities, Alder Grove and Marina Vista. Those complexes have seen serious crimes, including a fatal shooting in January and a triple homicide in 2016.

“We initiated the drone program in order to enhance the safety and security of our residents,” said LaTanna Jones, SHRA’s assistant director.

He says the five-foot-long aircraft operates between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and has already spotted illegal dumping and trespassing. Pilots have established a protocol to protect privacy.

“The drones are programmed so that they do not catch any footage until they get to about 200 feet in the air,” Jones said.

The housing authority says the program is legal, but some neighbors have doubts, saying their privacy is being invaded and the technology doesn’t belong in a residential community.

“This is not an appropriate way to police the community,” Mattox said.

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The drone is part of a 90-day pilot project that costs about $20,000. Opponents are asking the Sacramento City Council to step in and cancel the program.

A bill in 2015 would have restricted drone usage 350 feet above homes without permission. It was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who said “Drone technology certainly raises novel issues that merit careful examination. This bill, however, while well-intentioned, could expose the occasional hobbyist and the FAA-approved commercial user alike to burdensome litigation and new causes of action. Before we go down that path, let’s look at this more carefully.”

Comments (20)
  1. What State or US Constitutional policing authority does the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency possess? NONE! I smell a lawsuit!

    1. atthemurph says:

      Don’t worry, they established a protocol! (until they didn’t)

  2. Being a Coloradoan and wishing all of you the motivation to stay in California, I can only assume that it is there to look after your sexual welfare and also to search for some High Speed Rail Money. And you Sacramento residents: Most folk around the country buy an emergency generator, y’all should buy a boat. Cheer!

  3. Big brother is watching, beware!

  4. As so many leftists are prone to say: “If you have nothing to hide, why are you worried?” Rock on, California. It’s fun to watch your spiral into self-inflicted destruction. Pass the popcorn!

  5. Jack Hanson says:

    Well, so much for 4th Amendment rights of privacy in your homes.

  6. Don McCoy says:

    The drone is searching California for an American citizen! LOL!

  7. Dan Young says:

    California bureacracies seem to be able to write laws and regulate our lives more and more.. so I guess this is just another one making the next step.

  8. I hàve also seen them in the Silicon Valley neighbourhoods. Lots of them. Wake up people!

  9. Funny thing happens when you demand more government…

  10. Let me see; these complainers spend their entire day giving personal information on their social media platforms, then all of a sudden they are concerned about a drone attempting to curb crime in a drug invested city full of gang members. Only dumb-butt liberals would be concerned about a drone.

  11. Chuck Yates says:

    More liberals crying about nothing. Welcome to the 21st century where drones are everywhere.

  12. d0ct0rj says:

    Shouldn’t be a problem, Californians believe in Big Government, not Individual Rights.

  13. Jim M. Ryles says:

    Searching for a disease free, mentally stable, employed, “citizen” who isn’t in an alphabet group of whiners and freaks….so far no luck.

  14. Searching for the excremento in Sacramento… LOL. Get used to it this is only the beginning.

  15. 20 Grand for 3 months of R/Cing?
    Gotta get in on that scam…

  16. Elena George says:

    Drone of helo? Which won’t mess with your sleep?

  17. Tommy A says:

    Ha ha save the drones for the poor neighborhoods. LOL

  18. Anti-racists say there is a RACE problem that can only be solved when the third world pours into EVERY White country and “assimilates.”

    What if I said there was a RACE problem that could only be solved if hundreds of millions of non-Blacks were brought into EVERY Black country? How long before people realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem, but the conclusion to the BLACK problem?

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

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