Police drone footage shows pursuit and capture of armed-robbery suspects

To make “immediately clear” what a valuable tool camera-equipped drone aircraft can be, Manteca police released aerial footage of the recent pursuit and apprehension of armed-robbery suspects.

The footage, released Tuesday, tracks two men on the run after the robbery of a juvenile male on the 200 block of West Center Street on May 30. The victim reported that shortly after noon, he was robbed of personal property and was struck by a handgun one of the robbers held, according to an account on the Manteca Police Department’s Facebook page.

Officers began to look for the subjects and their vehicle, which was spotted about an hour later on the 1300 block of East Yosemite Avenue. An officer tried to detain three men and a juvenile female who were with the vehicle. Two of the men fled on foot, and the female and third man were detained without incident.

That third man was determined not to be one of the robbers, but simply a passerby who stopped to help because the suspects’ vehicle had run out of gas. The female was identified as having been involved in the robbery.

A perimeter was set up in the area to which the two robbery suspects fled. The drone footage shows them trying to elude capture. They are seen hopping a fence into a parking lot, where one quickly surrenders when an officer pulls up in a car and confronts him. The second suspect leads an officer on a foot pursuit out of the parking lot and onto a street. The officer eventually overtakes him and tackles him on a residential lawn.

The two male suspects, Magique Brian Beermann, 19, of Manteca and Dekail Diamonte James-Phillips, 18, of Stockton, were booked into county jail. The female was booked into juvenile hall. All three face charges of robbery, conspiracy, altering or removing a serial number from a firearm, and possession of a fully automatic firearm.

The loaded gun was found in the suspects’ vehicle. It had been modified to be fired in fully automatic mode, like a machine gun, police said, and contained an extended ammunition magazine.

The Manteca Police Drone Program was implemented at the start of this year and is operated by Detective Dave Bright. Drone aircraft assist in searching for suspects within perimeters and in following foot pursuits and capturing real-time footage of what is occurring, the Police Department said in its post.