How Aerial Surveillance Has Changed Policing — and Crime — in Los Angeles

Those who want to stay hidden from FLIRs are developing countermeasures, of course. Back on the ground, I asked Burdette about some of their preferred techniques. “People are definitely catching on,” he said. “They’ll rub mud all over themselves, like that movie ‘Predator,’ or they’ll wrap themselves up in pool covers to mask their heat signature.”

I laughed. “Does that work?”

I was expecting him to laugh along with me, but after a slight hesitation, he said: “It does work — except a little bit of light starts to shine out of each end. Once they’ve been in there for a while, the temperature builds up, like it starts to cook a little. That’s how we find them.”27surveillance4-articleLarge


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