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Santee Sheriff's Dept. Uses Skywatch to Deter Holiday Shoplifting

Santee's law enforcement is spending some time as an eye in the sky this holiday season.

The is performing operations around town this season, including the use of a 40-foot tall mobile "skywatch" tower with 360 degree surveillance to deter shoplifting.

Last week, a few deputies took the tower out for a spin in Town Center, in a spot where they can see the front doors of , and , and shoppers in the area can see the tower. The tower is fitted with high-tech video equipment, so they can zoom in on anything important in their line of sight.

The tower is like a cherry picker, able to be raised and lowered, and towed to different spots.

The Sheriff's Dept. made clear that the tower is mostly used as a deterrant, they couldn't say how many shoplifters or other criminals are caught using the device. Skywatch is also used for large events where deputies could use an eye in the sky.

The countywide Holiday Watch campaign runs from Nov. 25 to Jan. 1. Sheriff Gore says “criminals do not take the holidays off and neither will our deputies.”

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