‘We can’t do too much’: Woman says Maine police can’t stop drone from stalking her

GORHAM, Maine (AP) — A Maine woman who was harassed by a drone for two days says police told her they could do nothing about it.

Mary Dunham says a drone tracked her in her car on Tuesday as she drove to a gas station, where she called police, and then to her home in Gorham. It followed her eight miles to her brother’s house in Standish the following day.

It was an “unnerving”experience, she said. “The officer arrived and said, ‘Yeah, I see it. I don’t know what to tell you though. We can’t do too much,’” she said.

Some states have laws that make it a crime to use drones for surveillance that violates a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy, but Maine is not one of them, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Drones must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration and cannot fly around airports where the agency controls airspace. But there are few restrictions for drones that operate elsewhere.

There are more than 1.5 million drones registered nationwide, two-thirds of which are for recreational use, according to the FAA.

Dunham said it’s discouraging to think that a citizen’s right to operate a drone outweighs her right to privacy.

“I don’t know how long they’ve been watching, or why they’re doing it,” she said. “It could be my neighbor and I wouldn’t know.”

The Gorham Police Department didn’t immediately respond to a message left by The Associated Press on Saturday. But Deputy Chief Michael Nault told News Center Maine that the drone episode was “out of the norm.”

(Copyright (c) 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)