A neighbor had already warned Todd Maxon of seeing something unusual hovering over his lakeside Michigan property — but then, suddenly, there it was.

"I walk out of my house, with my dog and kid, and here's a drone, directly above me," Maxon recalled of the 2018 incident.

It turns out the drone had been over the five-acre (two-hectare) property at least two other times in previous months, part of what turned out to be an effort by the local Long Lake Township to surveil the Maxons' land over a zoning dispute involving his hobby of fixing up old vehicles.