Thursday, November 1, 2007

GPS Dope

Stolen Satellite Navigation System Directs Police To Hideout
It might be the easiest arrest that police in Mt. Ommaney, Australia, have ever made.

One man has been charged with robbery after he was tracked by a GPS that he had stolen which inadvertently took police to his exact whereabouts. The bust led police to recover a humongous amount of stolen equipment taken in what appeared to be sophisticated heists.

The breakthrough is thanks to Sumner Park company Fleetlink GPS.

When thieves broke into the company’s office early last month, they stole more than $13,000 worth of equipment including a demonstration pack, a laptop computer, and six in-car navigators.

The cutting edge equipment is used by transport companies to monitor their fleets.

But five days later, a thief plugged in the software which alerted Fleetlink to the exact location of its hot equipment.

“We were fairly confident he was going to be silly enough to plug it in because it looks like something to plug in,” said business development manager Murray Griffith.

“The curiosity would have killed the cat, without a doubt.

“It was quite funny, we had a bit of a laugh and then contacted police.

“But I don’t think it took much to outsmart him though.

“If he was that smart he wouldn’t be a criminal.”

The thief’s location was traced to a residence in the nearby suburb of Camira — exactly eight kilometers or 13 minutes and 41 seconds away.

Using this evidence, police were able to obtain a search warrant and search the property which uncovered a virtual Aladdin’s Cave of stolen equipment.

Griffith said that the thief had disposed of the demonstration pack worth $3,000, but the remaining equipment, adding up to more than $10,000, was able to be recovered.

The suspected thief, an unidentified 54-year-old man, has been hit with a notice to appear in court and will do so next month.

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