Thieves beware: The loot you stole just might be tracking you, says the Dallas Morning News. When two large air-conditioning units were taken from a new housing development, security officials had hidden GPS – Global Positioning System – devices inside the units. A homing beacon led police to a storage facility where the stolen merchandise was found. GPS devices, which rely on satellites to pinpoint locations around the globe, are better known for helping parents track teenage drivers and motorists navigate unfamiliar streets. They’re increasingly helping to catch crooks.
“It’s being used more by law enforcement and private industry to track fleets and high-end merchandise,” said Lewisville, Tx., police Capt. Kevin Deaver, noting that the same technology is used in police “bait cars” to catch car thieves. Construction site theft costs the industry $5 billion a year, said the National Association of Home Builders. Wireless, self-contained GPS units, about the size of a bar of soap, can be attached to any object and “are so small you wouldn’t know it,” said one vendor. When the units are tampered with or moved from an area, they alert owners through a text or recorded message sent to their phones.