Thermal Camera aids Law Enforcement
HOUMA, La. (AP) - Police said they used a heat-seeking camera to
find a burglary suspect who dove into the darkness of Bayou
Terrebonne to escape capture.
"He was hiding in the water under a bunch of undergrowth,"
said Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter. "He had darkness
on his side, but we found him with that camera."
The chase started in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday when
sheriff's deputy Lt. Enos Thibodeaux stopped to inspect a missing
pane of glass in a window at Hebert Insurance Service, Larpenter
When Thibodeaux got out of his patrol car, Kevin Wayne Dorsey
allegedly ran from the building and jumped into Bayou Terrebonne.
More deputies, Houma police officers and Louisiana state
troopers were called in, Larpenter said.
Police circled the area so Dorsey could not escape and asked
Coteau Volunteer firefighters to bring their thermal-imaging
camera. The high-tech cameras are used to locate flames inside
walls, overheated electrical wires and people who need rescuing.
"The police had an idea of the general area where he was
hiding, but without the camera, they would have been there until
daylight," said Coteau Fire Chief Russell DiSalvo Jr.
DiSalvo said the camera detected Dorsey's body heat when he
poked his head out of the water to take a gulp of air. The camera
will not pick up body heat under water or behind glass.
When the camera divulged Dorsey's hiding spot, police doused the
area with pepper spray. Larpenter said Dorsey, who had taken off
his clothes believing it would make him less visible, surrendered.
Dorsey, 35, was charged with two counts of attempted simple
burglary, nine counts of simple burglary and parole violation.
Larpenter said Dorsey, who was released from jail two months
ago, admitted to eight other recent burglaries in the Bayou Cane
area, mostly insurance agencies.
Dorsey, a Baton Rouge native, has 42 arrests and six convictions
on his record. He has been jailed in other jurisdictions for
burglarizing homes, Larpenter said.
Dorsey had a $150,000 bond set on the burglary charges and was
being held without bond Friday on the parole violation.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)