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Helicopter apparently equipped with night vision nabs social distancing violators on Australian rooftop — and it's all on video

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'Yes, we can see you ... with your cold drinks'

Image source: Twitter video screenshot

Cops aren't pulling out all the stops to corral coronavirus social distancing violators only in the United States and United Kingdom — they're at it Down Under, too.

What are the details?

Police received several reports about illegal entering at a construction site in the Queensland, Australia, suburb of Palm Beach, Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler told 4BC News Talk.

"It was a set of units under construction, which raises a few issues," Wheeler added to the station. "It's an unsafe place to be, at the start."

It appears cops used night vision from a helicopter to locate the trouble. And indeed a trio of men — ages 19, 20, and 21 — were spotted on the site's rooftop Saturday night, 7News reported.

4BC News Talk said they were illegally drinking and socializing.

'The building is surrounded by police'

Video showed the moment the jig was up.

"This is the police, this is the police," an officer's voice can be heard from the helicopter as the young men start gazing skyward. "To the three people sitting on the building rooftop — yes, we can see you, with the hoodie in the middle, with your cold drinks. The building is surrounded by police. We need you to return to the ground floor. Return to the bottom immediately."

What happened to the culprits?

The trio of men will be fined $1,334 for breaching public health directions against gatherings for nonessential reasons, 7News reported, adding that they also were issued infringement notices for being unlawfully on the premises.

"This is a textbook example of a breach where there has been a total and blatant disregard for not only the law, but also the direction of the chief health officer's directions," Wheeler added to 7News.

The 19-year-old and 20-year-old also were charged with drug possession and will appear in court in July, 7News said.

4BC News Talk commentators wondered if police were being a bit heavy handed, but Wheeler shot that right down.

"This is about keeping the community safe; it's about stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Queensland," he told the radio station. "It's also about [protecting] people who've got businesses and premises that are not attended, that we … get around as much as we can to make sure those venues are secure."

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