From the horrific to the bizarre, GPS tracking has become an essential tool to law enforcement officials worldwide. In a large city across the ocean, the police recently utilized GPS to catch one of the oddest thieves in their city’s centuries-old history.
The Where and the When
Late last year, shopping centers in Madrid, Spain faced a problem: shopping carts were disappearing. They were disappearing by the thousands. Was it a conspiracy? Was there a secret shopping cart ring responsible for the theft of the devices? Was it aliens? The thefts were becoming so apparent and common that police were put on the case. The only method they could think of to capture the shopping cart thieves red handed was to fit shopping carts in the area with GPS tracker systems. Sure enough, the baited cart was stolen by Juan Antonio, a scrap dealer.
His motivation was money. The dealer, who makes no bones about declaring his own poverty, indicated that he stole the carts simply to pay his rent. He faces a sentence of up to six months in prison, and will not plead guilty to the crime. Mr. Antonio’s cart purchasers, a junkyard owner and manager, were arrested as well. Apparently, the conspiracy theorists were right.
The final tally? Juan Antonio allegedly stole 3,000 shopping carts. The man claims he found a couple of carts on the street, and didn’t sell any of them.
GPS and Crime Tracking
GPS tracking has become a go-to tool for law enforcement officials worldwide to track goods, people and vehicles. The uses for GPS tools in the law enforcement arena are varied, from tracking sex offenders to tracking vehicles of suspected criminals. The use of GPS tracking in the Juan Antonio case is actually ideal, as it enabled law enforcement officials to detect a theft, and then use the GPS as a tracking aid to determine where the offending shopping cart ended up. As a result, a thief was caught and a very unusual conspiracy was revealed.
The Present and Future of GPS in Law Enforcement
It is likely that the presence of GPS as a law enforcement tool is here to stay. It is likely more valuable to a law enforcement officer now than a gun or even a badge, in some cases. Simple and extremely effective, GPS tracking surely is an invaluable part of keeping our streets safe now and moving forward.
Tags: Conspiracy , crime , GPS Tracking , madrid , Scrap Metal , Shopping Cart , Spain , theft , theft prevention