Police drone, K9s track burglary suspect who used Radnor Twp. home for a week

Lower Merion police's drone helped officers navigate a wooded area to find the suspect.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021
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RADNOR TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- After a Radnor Township, Pennsylvania resident called police when he found his home had been ransacked, officers used K9 units and a drone to track down one of the burglary suspects.

The homeowner had returned to his house in Wayne on Aug. 15 after being away for a week and saw it in disarray, police said.

A canine officer and his K9 were deployed to the home.

Once inside, they located 39-year-old Nicole DiPietro of Springfield, Pa. hiding inside the house. She was taken into custody without incident.

Police noticed a second suspect, later identified as 45-year-old William Quirk of Broomall, Pa., had escaped from a second story window and fled on foot.

The Radnor Township Police Department called on neighboring units from Lower Merion and Haverford Township to help track Quirk.

Officers were able to locate him in a heavily wooded area, but they said he again fled on foot.

The Lower Merion Police Department set out their aerial drone, equipped with thermal imaging technology.

Police say the drone operator communicated with officers the terrain of the area and provided directional assistance as they searched for Quirk.

Soon Quirk was apprehended by Lower Merion police K9 Edo.

"We are grateful for the assistance of both outside agencies during this incident. This team effort brought immediate closure to those victimized by two truly brazen suspects," Radnor Township Police Superintendent of Police Christopher Flanagan said.

"We are fortunate to have the Canine Team and area resources, who when called upon, were spot on. The usage of the drone is a 21st Century tool that provides a new vantage point for law enforcement during a high-risk situation such as this," Flanagan added.

Investigators said they found information that the two suspects had been occupying the Radnor Township home without permission and engaged in criminal behavior inside the home for nearly one week.

Quirk and DiPietro were charged with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, theft by unlawful taking and related charges.

Both were arraigned and unable to post bail. They have been remanded to George W. Hill Correctional Facility.