“Peeping Drone” company owner apologizes

SEATTLE, Washington (KING) – 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 Seattle apartment 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.

She told the building manager, who walked outside just as two men packed up their gear and took off.

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 collect 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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