Tracking devices catch sat nav thieves

With the rise in thefts of sat nav devices, York have begun to successfully use a hi-tech solution to catch the thieves red-handed. Using planted sat nav units that have been tagged with tracking devices; officers have been able to locate the stolen units.

Feb 22, 2007
By David Howell

With the rise in thefts of sat nav devices, York have begun to successfully use a hi-tech solution to catch the thieves red-handed. Using planted sat nav units that have been tagged with tracking devices; officers have been able to locate the stolen units.

The sting operation has been used 17 times so far resulting in 13 arrests. The tracking device uses the latest technology that enables officers to locate the stolen sat nav to the precise location in a house.

Sergeant Mark Henderson, who is in charge of the operation told the York Press: “This is one of the most successful scheme`s we`ve had. We get a signal alerting us as soon as it is moved. It is also picked up by Tracker UK, which covers the whole country. So even if someone leaves the county, we will still find them. On one occasion, the tracker took us to a late night restaurant and there were no customers in there.

“Officers asked a member of staff if he had anything he shouldn`t have and he said no. They went behind the counter and the sat nav was there. He had just bought it and he was arrested. We got the thief as well.”

Chief Inspector Nick Warnes also commented: “We are constantly changing the types of sat navs and cars and vans we use because word gets around quickly. The thieves are just falling straight into this trap. The more sat navs they nick, the more chance there is of them getting caught.

“If anyone is thinking of paying around £100 for a sat nav they need to ask the question is it stolen and is it tracked? If they don’t know the answer, they shouldn`t buy it.”

The operation has been so successful that York is now considering using the system to track laptops, mobile phones and even games consoles.

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