Owner of 'peeping drone' apologizes to Seattle woman

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by GREG COPELAND / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 25 at 8:32 AM

There are not a lot of uniform rules or regulations on who can fly drones and where. So when Lisa Pleiss encountered a drone outside her 26th floor window at 7:45 Sunday morning while she was still getting dressed, she panicked.

"I was concerned that it was looking at me, and it was at my home and I felt really violated,” she said.

MORE: Seattle woman finds drone peeping in her apartment window

She told the building manager, who walked outside just as two men packed up their gear and took off. It certainly appeared sketchy.
 
"I reached out to her this morning,” said Joe Vaughn of Skyris Imaging

It turns out, the drone is owned by Joe Vaughn of Skyris Imaging in Portland, hired by a developer in Seattle.

"When I found out that there was a news story, I immediately contacted the Seattle Police Department, let them know my name, the name of my company, what we were there for, who my client was,” said Vaughn.

Vaughn says his company only collects images of points of interest, and only fly over properties where they have permission. On Sunday, near the corner of Terry Avenue and Steward Street, they hovered at 120 feet, snapped a few pictures and then went to 300 to do the same. He says they're a valuable tool for a developer or leasing agent.

"They can say 'I like that view' I'm able to see the bay, I'm able to see the Space Needle, Mount Rainier."

 It's just that nobody told Lisa.

"It's really opened my eyes in terms of why the public does have concerns, and that the public is very concerned about this topic,” she said

Pleiss works for Amazon, and Vaughn says they had a laugh about that.

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