GPS Tracking For Law Enforcement
GPS Tracker: Surveillance Made Simple
“Anything that is wasted effort represents wasted time. The best management of our time thus becomes linked inseparably with the best utilization of our efforts.”—T. Engstrom
Since GPS trackers use some of the most sophisticated software and satellite technologies, it is easy to see why law enforcement and government agencies all across the globe utilize the these advanced monitoring solutions. From data loggers that only require the user to “remove and review” to access driving activity, to direct and intuitive web-based and software interfaces that allow driving activity to be viewed in real-time, here is where law enforcement professionals can get the latest information and news on GPS surveillance technology.
- Category: Law Enforcement
Tar Heel State Looks At GPS Tracking Devices
Law enforcement frequently call upon the most technologically advanced surveillance equipment to perform investigative work, and one of the most used devices is the GPS tracker. Designed to record and transmit real-time locational information, GPS trackers have played a critical role in the arrest of car thieves, drug dealers and various other criminals. GPS tracking has undoubtedly been instrumental in helping investigators gather concrete evidence that can place a suspect at a particular place at any given time. This is why it is no surprise to hear about legislators in the state of North Carolina seeking to expand the use if GPS tracking to monitor domestic violence offenders as a way of enhancing safety of the victims and accountability of the accused.
Voted on by the North Carolina Generally Assembly unanimously, the bill giving judicial powers the option to require domestic violence offenders to wear GPS tracking devices, bracelets or anklets is now en route to the state Senate. What this personal tracking system would offer is an alerting feature that would notify victims and local authorities if that domestic violence offender traveled to areas they were prohibited from visiting. These locations would include places such as home or work environment of the victim.
The bill was created and named after a woman named Allison Gaither who lost her life in 2009 when her estranged husband fatally stabbed her. Gaither believed her estranged husband was a threat to her personal safety and took out a domestic violence order to keep the man away from her. However, the legal document did nothing to stop the man from violating the court-ordered amount of space he was required to stay away from Gaither. The hope is that with the use of sophisticated real-time GPS tracking that a heart-breaking situation such as the one that happened to Gaither can be avoided in the future.
The GPS tracking bill as it is currently worded would start at the beginning of the 3rd quarter next year (2014). The reason why the program won't be immediately enacted is to give state legislators a way to determine an effective way to not only implement the GPS tracking program, but also find the financial resources to cover the cost of the personal safety initiative.
- Category: Law Enforcement
Police Bust Armed Robbers With Help From GPS Tracker
Pharmacy robberies are a growing problem nationwide impacting both large metropolitan cities as well as small towns in rural areas. Pharmacies are a critical part to our nations healthcare system and have to be open for business at odd hours throughout the night, leaving them susceptible to be targeted by criminals. Making matters worse is the fact most pharmacies don't have security guards or police on site protecting them, as only camera surveillance devices are the only hope of scaring off potential robbers. Although in-store security is still one of the most effective ways to discourage potential pharmacy thieves, bait GPS tracker devices are now helping monitor stolen property post-theft through real-time GPS tracking. In fact, this form of satellite surveillance was what led police to the capture of two men in Burton, Michigan who robbed a pharmacy at gunpoint.
The pharmacy robbery occurred at a local Burton Rite Aid pharmacy a little before 10:00p.m on Thursday April 11th, and according to police reports the masked gunmen flashed a silver gun, pointing it toward the pharmacy manager. The ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) who are also involved with the case stated one of the armed suspects demanded that a store manager get money from the store safe and place the cash into a pillow case. The manager complied with the gunman's demands, filling the pillow case with money. However, the quick-thinking manager also placed a small real-time GPS tracker with the stolen cash as well.
As soon as the thieves left the scene of the crime the GPS tracker device was activated and began reporting the locations of the suspects in real-time. This positional information would be the key component that led to a quick arrest.
Once dispatchers working for Genesse County alerted police about the theft and relayed the real-time GPS tracking data it only took minutes before law enforcement were face-to-face with the criminals. Following the information provided from the GPS tracking device law enforcement pulled over a Chevy Impala. The two suspects were inside the black vehicle, and inside the car was a gun, over $4,500 in cash and the mask one of the suspects used during the robbery. Of course, the real-time GPS tracker was also recovered.
Both men were immediately taken in to custody and booked for robbery of the Burton pharmacy. Sadly, when questioned by authorities why they robbed the Rite Aid one of the men explained it was because he simply struggled finding employment in a tough economy.
- Category: Law Enforcement
GPS Tracking Suspended In Orange County
GPS trackers have been used in the form of bracelets or anklets by law enforcement and the courts for years to monitor criminals or those on bail awaiting trial. The technology was supposed to revolutionize the way authorities kept track of those involved or allegedly involved in crimes. By providing real-time tracking data the GPS bracelets could be used to make certain child predators stayed away from elementary schools, domestic violence offenders stayed at least one mile away from their victims and any person under satellite surveillance was not engaging in unlawful activities. As accurate and helpful as GPS tracking was it still had one draw back and that was that it relied on humans to review the real-time data. Unfortunately, this is where a serious problem occurred when a Orange County man under GPS surveillance removed his bracelet and the next day killed a woman he was supposed to stay away from, resulting in the suspension of GPS tracking in the Florida county.
GPS Trackers Are Only A Tool
The tragedy that occurred in Orange County Florida highlights the glaring problem with technology and that is human error. Clearly, any properly functioning GPS tracker bracelet removed or tampered with would have triggered an SMS or email alert because that is what the devices are programmed to do. However, once the GPS tracker transmits the information to the contacts populated upon the hardware the liability then falls upon the individual(s) receiving those alerts to follow up and make appropriate judgement calls. The moment the GPS tracker bracelet signaled a tamper warning police should have been called to investigate the situation, while the victim he was supposed to stay away from be informed that the man removed his GPS tracking device. Steps should have been taken to both find the man who removed the GPS tracker as well as inform the now victim of the situation as the events were unfolding.
Orange County Judicial Knee Jerk
GPS tracking offenders is a practical, efficient and cost-effective method to monitor criminals, and the suspension of GPS personal surveillance programs by Orange County is simply a knee-jerk reaction. The technology has been providing the locational details and real-time tracking data that it was designed to do. The failure was in the persons or team responsible of overseeing the GPS tracking data. Those are the parties who are culpable and who should have received suspension.
- Category: Law Enforcement
GPS Tracker Helps Police Arrest ATM Thief
When Daniel Runyan was busy breaking into establishments to rob ATM machines the last thing he was probably thinking a out was GPS tracking. Unfortunately for Runyan it was information provided via a GPS vehicle tracker that led to the criminal's downfall and why he will now spend the next four years inside of a jail cell.
In a Middlesex Superior courtroom Runyan admitted to his 2011 crimes of cracking into approximately thirty MetroWest ATM machines all throughout the state of Massachusetts. The 25-year-old man pleaded guilty after being indicted for 93 separate charges against him and a couple other accomplices. Authorities said that the men were single handedly responsible for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the ATM machines. The police enforcement investigators also stated numerous surveillance video recordings captured a man operating a drill and wearing a mask while also communicating with an accomplice using a two-way headset microphone. This allowed police to determine rather quickly that it was the same crew involved in the crimes.
Throughout Massachusetts the three men robbed ATM machines in Concord, Ayer, Auburn, Groton, Lawrence and numerous other cities in the state. However, it was the quick thinking police department officials headquartered in Framingham that were instrumental in the apprehension of the trio. This is because Framingham police were the ones responsible of equipping a GPS tracker system upon the vehicle surveillance video showed being at the scene of one of the ATM robberies. The locational data gathered from the GPS vehicle tracker provided police the evidence needed to make an arrest. Thomas Coyne and Tim Page were the other men arrested for the ATM robberies and both men will face trial later this year for their involvement in the crimes.
Runyan, who has already pleaded guilty to his involvement in the crimes, will call a correction house home until 2017. After his four-year sentence is completed, Runyan will also be placed on probation for an additional five years.
- Category: Law Enforcement
Trailer Theft Results In GPS Tracking Rise
According to government agencies that monitor crime statistics, automobile theft has been on a steady down trend over the past decade. The decrease in car theft can be attributed to a number of different factors such as more informed motorists locking up their vehicles, cars manufactured more securely and the rise in use of consumer grade GPS vehicle tracking devices. Although national motor vehicle theft numbers are down, Spartanburg County Sheriff's officials have been struggling in South Carolina with a rise in trailer theft that has seen approximately 300 trailers reported stolen in the past two years in the small county.
How big has the trailer theft problem gotten to be? The trailer thefts became such an issue that in 2011 Spartanburg County Sheriffs began mapping each individual crime and using decoy or "bait" trailers to try and catch the people committing the crimes. The police have received very few leads and have expressed publicly the difficult time they have had finding and arresting those responsible for the crimes.
A law enforcement official in Spartanburg County speaking about the trailer theft epidemic explained that the thieves usually target the inexpensive trailers that are typically found collecting dust in most people's driveways. He went on to explain that the trailer thieves waste no time in taking the stolen goods and painting them, making it difficult for not only the trailer owner but also law enforcement authorities to recognize the stolen property. The quick turnaround is what makes catching the thieves such a challenge.
A representative for a local trailer company that has been in business in Spartanburg County for years stated the importance of safeguarding assets. He recommended at the minimum people purchase a trailer lock to prevent any trailer thieves from quickly hooking and hauling off with a person's trailer. However, for those in a region where trailer theft is quite prevalent, the person at the trailer company said that a real-time GPS tracker is probably the best solution. This is because live GPS tracker devices can alert trailer owners the second their assets are moved or stolen and will provide real-time locational data frequently. This will allow the trailer owner to provide law enforcement in detail the whereabouts of their stolen property.