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High-end drones stolen from Corona manufacturer using wheelbarrow

Thieves used a wheelbarrow to steal high-end drones from a Corona business

Using a wheelbarrow to carry away their ill-gotten goods, thieves took a dozen high-end commercial drones from a Corona manufacturer early Tuesday morning, police said.

The suspects threw a rock through the front window of PMG Multi-Rotors, said Sgt. Kim Velasco, spokesperson for the Corona Police Department.

They got the wheelbarrow from an adjoining business and loaded the drones into a waiting car.

No drones caught the act.

But there was a security camera, which showed two to three people inside the business at the time of the burglary, Velasco said. But the video quality was not high enough to get good images of the suspects, he said.

The break-in triggered an alarm at 3:21 a.m., but police got the call a little before 3:30 a.m. because the alarm company called the business owner before calling police, Velasco said. By then the suspects were gone.

The drones, which the business calls "multi-rotors," are designed for use by the cinema industry, filmmakers and photographers, said Connor Wyse, director of visual media for PMG. 

The stolen drones range from four-armed quads to carbon fiber eight-armed octos, all of which had cameras and flight control systems, Wyse said. One of the drones, a 22-inch octo, which took eight months to develop, was found in a gutter across the street with the camera missing.

Wyse called the theft "pretty heartbreaking."

Tuesday's burglary was the third that occurred on the property. In April, burglars came through a side window after trying to throw a rock through a front window, and stole a computer and some cameras, Wyse said. Just two weeks ago, radios were stolen from semi-trucks parked on the lot, Velasco said.

PMG Multi-rotors sits on a hill bordered on the north side by the 91 Freeway. A gate blocks access to the business and is secured at night, Velasco said.

Wyse said the company upgraded to a top-of-the-line security system after the April break-in, and that they will evaluate new security options.

"We'll have to have something change here pretty quick," he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter at @smasunaga or email samantha.masunaga@latimes.com.

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