Nothing sickens the heart as realizing that something has been stolen from you. In this modern age of technology, however, you do not have to feel so helpless. GPS tracking has long been used to recover vehicles and cell phones, but many may not realize that this same technology can be used to track computers, personal belongings, and even pets.
Stolen cell phones accounts for 30-40 percent of all robberies in America with higher percentages in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. With all the apps and features of the modern smart phone, it is no wonder they are a prime target for thieves, especially if that thief can gain personal information about the phone’s owner. This is not just an American problem either; it is worldwide. In fact, the United Kingdom reported that 228 phones were stolen every hour last year. Cell phone carriers are now working together to help block the use of stolen phones that are reported, but that does not help recover the items. However, most phones come standard with a GPS tracking device that can lead police to the stolen phone and often the thief.
Many auto manufactures today have global positioning systems in their vehicles, but devices are also available for non-equipped vehicles. According to the FBI, almost 740,000 cars are stolen in America every year; that is one vehicle every 40 seconds or so, and recovering these stolen vehicles can be almost impossible. Recovery rates for vehicles with a GPS-enabled device, however, are much higher than those without, especially if the unit was undiscovered by the thief. One such success story took place in Tonawanda, New York, where one man discovered that his truck had been stolen from his work site. Using the GPS in his truck, he found his truck abandoned but undamaged in Grand Island.
GPS technology can also be used to track prized possessions, anything from furniture and luggage to electronics and pets. Geofences, or safety zones, are created that will alert the owner by email, text, or phone call when an item’s zone is breeched. Tracking can be done from smart phones or computers. Monthly monitoring fees are relatively small and well worth the peace of mind owners receive knowing the things that mean the most to them are well protected and can be recovered if stolen or lost.
Although improvements in technology allow people to keep track of their valuables, it is always best to turn GPS data over to the authorities when something is stolen so that they can properly deal with the situation and keep everyone safe.