You might think that, by now, thieves would have figured out that it is a bad idea to steal a GPS enabled device. Every month, we read stories posted by local news stations about police tracking down stolen electronics by following their GPS signals, leading to a very conclusive arrest and conviction. Apparently, though, those sleek, high-powered devices are just too tempting for some thieves to resist.
The scene this time around was Corpus Christi, Texas, where two guests at a local hotel returned to their room only to find that the lock had been tampered with and a lot of their more expensive luggage had been stolen. That included a number of electronics and—that’s right—a GPS enabled iPad II.
It was a simple matter to find a computer, enter the iPad’s information, and pull up a map showing the current location of the GPS transmitter. In no time, police officers were on their way to the spot, a house not far away. When they arrived, they looked through the window and saw two men sitting at a table, smoking marijuana.
In the past, police have been burned on occasion when a GPS signal turned out to be faulty. Since it was to their advantage to make sure there was no doubt that this was the right house, they dialed the number of one of the cell phones that was also stolen from the hotel. Sure enough, officers could hear the phone ringing inside the house they were closing in on.
Just a short time later, over $4,000 worth of stolen items were safely back in the hands of their owners. The two thieves were in custody, charged with the theft as well as a few other outstanding charges. The whole situation raises an interesting question: Can an iPad receive reward money for assisting police in an investigation?
Certainly examples like this make many of us breathe easier if our valuable electronics have similar types of GPS enabled trackers installed. Even other high-value theft targets, like cars and powersport vehicles, are now getting secret trackers. Theft victims now have an almost foolproof recovery system, and police love being able to recover stolen items with a minimum of effort.