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GPS Tracker Busts Pharmacy Thieves

prescription bottle

Real-Time Tracker Helps Philly Police

prescription_bottleLaw enforcement and government agencies will routinely employ GPS tracking system technology to acquire information about potential criminal suspects, but using tracker devices to catch armed robbers is something a little more unique. However, when police based in eastern Philadelphia realized they were dealing with serial armed robbers that were knocking off drug stores all throughout the region, they came up with a strategy that required the use of a GPS monitoring system.

After reviewing multiple in-store surveillance cameras and questioning witnesses, eastern Philadelphia police believed that it was approximately two men who were responsible for committing 18 robberies on various pharmacies in the area. The men involved in these armed robberies were not after cash, but rather pharmaceutical drugs such as Xanax, OxyContin, Vicodin and other medications associated with pain management that are popular on the street. Believing that the robbers would continue with their criminal ways, Philadelphia police put a select number of bait GPS trackers into some pharmacies that the authorities felt could be potential targets. They knew the plan was probably a long-shot to be successful, but felt that if GPS systems placed in bait money could help locate bank robbers that the same type of GPS monitoring devices could help catch these serial pharmaceutical burglars.

After placing bait GPS monitoring devices in select pharmacies, the cops finally got their first break when a Rite Aid located on Roosevelt Blvd that was using the bait tracker devices was hit by the robbers. The real-time tracker device hidden with the narcotics was instantly activated when the two men escaped from the scene of the crime, transmitting live locational data. With this real-time GPS data, police were able to track down the vehicle used during the getaway. This also led authorities to the house of the suspects where an arrest took place shortly afterward.

During the arrest, police seized firearms used in the robbery, the stolen prescription narcotics from the Rite Aid pharmacy and of course the GPS monitoring system that led police to the guilty parties.

A joint task force that combined the efforts of local police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) had spent months tracking the  criminals. Police are hoping to prosecute the armed robbers for a number of crimes, including violations of the Hobbs Act.

Source Article: ABC News