NewsHelicopter chase and thermal imaging: Munich police's high-tech clampdown on graffiti artists

Helicopter chase and thermal imaging: Munich police's high-tech clampdown on graffiti artists

Germany: Helicopter manhunt for Polish graffiti artist
Germany: Helicopter manhunt for Polish graffiti artist
Images source: © Federal Police
4:25 AM EST, February 23, 2024

The arrest took place in Landsberg am Lech, a small town in the suburbs of Munich. The event was reported by journalists from "Bild" who narrated the arrest in the manner one might describe the capture of a notorious criminal.

Just before midnight, under the cover of darkness, the graffiti artist's white outline is clearly visible among tree trunks. Hot on his heels are two figures — they're officers from the Munich federal police. Despite the darkness, they're locked on their target. The chase is being monitored from above by a police helicopter, whose thermal imaging camera paints an unmissable picture - we read on

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The graffiti artist stood no chance against the well-orchestrated police operation. Even though he attempted to lie low and mislead the three officers who were after him, he was detected by the thermal imaging camera onboard the helicopter.

The suspect fled to a nearby forest after the act. Aerial surveillance helped to secure discarded evidence - spray cans in this case, according to Munich federal police spokesperson, Sina Dietsch.

The apprehended graffiti artist now faces serious consequences. The police estimate the damage caused by his art at around 600 euros. Dietsch states that the operation was executed extremely quickly, ensuring the safety of both the police officers and the suspect, without causing any disruption to train traffic.

Graffiti artists operating in and around Munich seem to be facing an ongoing crackdown by the local police. This comes as a reaction to a growth in incidents involving spray paint vandalism. In 2023, approximately 1100 instances of graffiti were reported in the Munich S-Bahn area.

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