GPS Tracker Assists Normandy Police
Police agencies all over the world routinely call upon GPS monitoring technology to assist in crime fighting activity and investigative work, but the use of real-time GPS systems among businesses has also increased. The primary reason many small businesses are using live tracking technology is theft. Theft can come in many different forms, all of which can leave a negative financial impact on a business. However, sometimes the theft can also just be very, very annoying and that was the case with a doctor in Normandy Park, Washington who was constantly being targeted by thieves who were stealing flower baskets that hung from the front portion of his dental office. Dr. Gilbert simply had enough after his flowers were stolen time and time again, and that was when he decided to contact local police to help assist him in finding the thieves.
Chief Gaddis of the Normandy Park Police Department explained that when Dr. Gilbert contacted them about the flower basket theft that the situation was taken very seriously. The Chief explained that they are funded by taxpayers and therefore take every complaint or request by members of the public with the utmost responsibility. Chief Gaddis stated that Dr. Gilbert was concerned because he felt the flower theft was less about the cost of flowers but rather the intent. Clearly, the theft was consistent and intentional which left Dr. Gilbert concerned the thief could have other malicious thoughts that could lead to something much more serious than petty theft. What was most frustrating to Dr. Gilbert was that he used a hidden camera that was successful in recording the flower basket thief in action, but even with that video evidence, the police were unable to identify the man or make an arrest. That was when the Normandy Park Police decided to try using a GPS tracking system.
What Normandy Park Police did was place a real-time GPS tracking device inside one of the hanging flower baskets outside of Dr. Gilbert’s office. The tracker system was then programmed to send an alert if the flower basket was stolen and would also provide live GPS locational data that could help police catch the thief. After two months the live GPS system sat in the flower basket without any movement. Then when police began thinking that the plan would not be successful the real-time GPS sent an email alert that the flower basket was stolen.
After Normandy Park officers received the email alert from the real-time GPS that the flower basket had been stolen they quickly grabbed an iPad and began tracking the stolen property. What the online mapping program showed was that the flower basket had been moved to a residential home in Des Moines, Washington.
When Normandy Park police officers arrived at the scene of the Des Moines residence they not only saw the stolen flower basket that was equipped with the live GPS tracking system but also the other missing flower baskets (a total of 5). The man arrested was Frank Todaro who now faces counts of both trespassing and theft. Although Todaro admits to the criminal behavior he did not say why he was specifically targeting Dr. Gilbert’s dental office.
After the successful use of live GPS technology to catch a local thief, Normandy Park police are considering using real-time GPS systems to assist in other theft-related cases such as those that occur frequently during the holiday season with gifts and other packages.