From below and above: Cleveland police chopper helps take down suspected car thieves

I-Team

CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained video showing how police in the air and on the ground teamed up to take down suspected car thieves.

This comes to light after we revealed Cleveland police helicopters had been rarely flying since city hall allowed a maintenance contract to expire.

In the incident with the video just released, you can hear the police chopper crew call out, “They’re running westbound on the sidewalk. Westbound, one street south of Cloud.”

A chopper camera followed two suspects walking on the sidewalk and running through yards. The suspects under watch were believed tied to a stolen car.

Moments later, police body camera video shows officers on the ground following the chopper crew’s direction and chasing down the suspects on foot.

Look up and you still might see a Cleveland police chopper. Police say they’ve taken steps to keep the choppers in the air.

A spokesperson tells us the department has worked out a temporary maintenance deal with a company. It’s something to get maintenance done as needed until a long term deal is in place.

The I-Team revealed that, in the first six months of the year, a Cleveland police helicopter flew on only 24 days.

Our story led to strong reactions from city council members and victims of crime. They consider the police choppers too valuable to your safety to sit on the ground.

We’ll keep an eye on how much the choppers are flying. When we revealed they had been spending a lot of time on the ground, many city leaders and even patrol officers had no idea why that was happening.

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