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Where Do Cops Put Tracking Devices On Cars?

Where Do Police Put Tracking Devices On Cars – How Cops Secretly Track You!

The image of police stakeouts in movies is familiar to many, featuring a pair of cops teaming up to gather evidence against suspected criminals. However, traditional stakeouts have drawbacks such as high costs, subjective police accounts, and potential risks to officer safety. In search of alternative methods, law enforcement agencies now use GPS tracking systems for surveillance operations. Why? A mini GPS tracker can record everywhere a driver goes without them ever knowing! But where do police put tracking devices on cars? Let’s go over everything you need to know about police surveillance!

Where Do Police Put Tracking Devices On Cars
Where Do Police Put Tracking Devices On Cars

Where Do Police Put Tracking Devices On Cars -10 Common Spots

When law enforcement uses GPS they call upon a variety of techniques and equipment to gather evidence. One common method is the use of hidden GPS devices, which allow police to track vehicles discreetly and without the knowledge of the vehicle owner. These GPS units can be attached to various locations on a car, providing law enforcement with valuable information about the target’s whereabouts. Here are 10 places where police hide GPS tracking devices on cars:

  1. Underneath the bumper: A tracking device attached to the underside of the vehicle’s bumper can be well-concealed and difficult to detect. It allows for continuous tracking without interfering with the vehicle’s normal operation.
  2. Inside the wheel well: Placing a vehicle tracker inside the wheel well provides a hidden location that offers protection from the elements while still providing accurate GPS data.
  3. Behind the license plate: A tracking system discreetly mounted behind the license plate can easily go unnoticed by the vehicle owner and allows for reliable tracking without obstruction.
  4. Inside the glove compartment: Placing a GPS device inside the glove compartment ensures it remains hidden and protected, providing long-term monitoring capabilities.
  5. Underneath the dashboard: A tracking device concealed under the dashboard allows for easy access to power sources and secure placement, ensuring it remains hidden from view.
  6. Inside the trunk: Placing a tracking device inside the trunk provides a concealed location while still allowing for effective tracking of the vehicle’s movements.
  7. Behind interior panels: Tracking devices hidden behind interior panels, such as those in the door or dashboard, offer excellent concealment and are difficult to detect without thorough inspection.
  8. Inside the engine compartment: Placing a car tracker inside the engine compartment provides an inconspicuous location that offers protection from potential tampering or removal.
  9. Beneath the seats: Concealing a hidden GPS underneath the seats allows for discreet tracking while minimizing the risk of discovery.
  10. Within the taillights: A tracker integrated into the taillight assembly remains hidden sight from the driver.

GPS Under Car

How Do Police Track Cars: A Step-By-Step Guide

Commonly associated with business fleet management, GPS trackers are increasingly popular among police agencies for surveillance. The benefits of these covert GPS trackers are manifold. One of the primary advantages is that they enable 24/7 surveillance without exposing uniformed officers to potential risks. By placing a hidden GPS tracker on a target vehicle, law enforcement can rely on the spy gear to meticulously record various driving activities in real-time. This approach eliminates the need for costly overtime and minimizes the dangers faced by officers, while generating valuable data that can be utilized in a court of law. Here is a breakdown of the entire 11-step process of how police secretly track vehicles:

  1. Police obtain a warrant based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity involving a specific vehicle.
  2. Officers place a GPS locator on the target vehicle without the owner’s knowledge or consent.
  3. The GPS device on your car is typically small, waterproof, and designed with a magnetic surface for easy attachment.
  4. The car GPS tracker is discreetly placed on the exterior or underside of the vehicle to avoid detection.
  5. Once activated, the GPS tracker starts recording the vehicle’s location, speed, and other relevant data.
  6. The device sends real-time location updates to a secure server, allowing officers to track the vehicle remotely.
  7. Law enforcement can monitor the vehicle’s movements and activities from a safe distance using computer systems.
  8. The collected data provides detailed information about the vehicle’s routes, stops, and duration of travel.
  9. Police analyze the gathered information to establish patterns, identify potential criminal behavior, and build a case.
  10. If the GPS tracking operation extends beyond the authorized period, officers may need to seek a warrant extension or remove the tracker.
  11. The evidence gathered through GPS tracking may be used in court to support criminal charges or investigations.

GPS Tracker For Police Squad Cars

Discover And Remove Police GPS

Removing a GPS tracker from your vehicle is a serious matter, and it’s crucial to consult with legal experts and local authorities before taking any action. While we provide general information on removing trackers, it’s important to note that methods may vary based on the specific device and its installation. Here’s a general overview of where cops put tracking devices on cars, and how to remove trackers from 5 popular locations:

  • Underneath a truck or vehicle (attached with a magnet): To remove a tracker attached underneath your vehicle with a magnet, you should carefully inspect the area. Use a flashlight to locate the tracker and identify any wires connected to it. Gently detach the magnet from the vehicle, ensuring no damage to the tracker in the process.
  • Inside the vehicle glovebox: Open the glovebox, identify the tracker, disconnect connections, and remove it cautiously.
  • Installed to the 12-volt system: If a GPS tracker is installed on the 12-volt system of your vehicle, it may require professional assistance for safe removal. Tampering with the electrical system without proper knowledge can lead to damage. Consult an experienced automotive technician or a trusted professional who specializes in GPS tracker removal to ensure a proper and safe removal process.
  • Under a seat: Lift the seat, disconnect any wires, and remove the tracker without damaging upholstery or components.
  • Plugged into the OBD2 port: Locate the port, unplug the device, and detach any additional fasteners if present.

#1 GPS Device Used By Sheriffs Departments

Smallest GPS Tracker


  • One of the most accurate devices to track any car
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  • Fleet tracking from your iPhone or Android device

SpaceHawk is the first GPS car tracker designed to help sheriff’s officers safely track any vehicle. Utilizing global positioning technology, this magnetic GPS is an absolute powerhouse! But what makes it better than other monitoring devices such as SpyTec GL300 or Tracki? The answer is the small size, strong magnetic mount, and 3-second refresh rates. Yes, that makes SpaceHawk the law enforcement GPS with the fastest updates on the market!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can police departments use hidden GPS tracking devices on cars for surveillance?

Yes, police departments can use hidden GPS tracking devices on cars for surveillance purposes. These devices enable law enforcement to monitor the location and movements of a vehicle. In fact, the evidence gathered can be crucial in investigations.

Are hidden cameras commonly used along with GPS tracking devices for car surveillance?

No. Hidden cameras are great security products that offer different benefits compared to GPS tracking devices. Hidden cameras capture video footage, while GPS tracking devices provide real-time location data. However, law enforcement agencies may utilize hidden cameras for specific investigations.

Are car GPS trackers legal and admissible in court?

Yes, car GPS trackers are legal when used by law enforcement agencies with proper authorization, such as a search warrant or court order. The admissibility of GPS tracking data in court depends on various factors, including jurisdiction and compliance with legal requirements. (Source: National Conference of State Legislatures)

Are GPS tracking devices used by police departments only for criminal investigations?

No, GPS tracking devices are also used for other purposes such as vehicle fleet management, asset tracking, and search and rescue operations. GPS trackers provide valuable location data that can enhance operational efficiency and safety in various law enforcement activities.

How do police departments ensure the accuracy and reliability of GPS tracking data?

Police departments maintain the accuracy and reliability of GPS tracking data by using reputable GPS tracking devices and regularly calibrating and updating their systems. They follow established protocols for data collection, storage, and analysis to ensure the integrity of the information. Additionally, training programs and quality assurance measures help police personnel use GPS tracking devices effectively and ethically.

Can law enforcement use GPS tracking devices without the vehicle owner’s knowledge or consent?

Yes, law enforcement agencies can use GPS tracking devices on cars without the vehicle owner’s knowledge or consent. However, before they can track your vehicle, police departments must first obtain a warrant.


Unlike the stereotypical stakeout scene, modern police surveillance relies on hidden GPS trackers. Why? The technology is capable of recording every stop, address visited, and time spent en route, with pinpoint accuracy. The truth is, that GPS units can provide concrete and indisputable evidence, eliminating subjective interpretations. And that is a good thing for police departments. With GPS tracking devices, law enforcement can gather crucial information without the need for continuous physical presence, freeing up officers’ time and resources.

The use of GPS technology offers several advantages. For example, it enables law enforcement to track suspects’ movements discreetly. This can be helpful in reducing the risk of detection and potential dangers associated with traditional stakeouts. By monitoring vehicles’ locations and activities, police can build a solid case with reliable evidence, enhancing their investigative capabilities and increasing the chances of successful prosecutions. By leveraging GPS technology, law enforcement agencies can overcome the limitations of traditional stakeouts. More importantly, they can improve resource allocation and enhance their ability to combat crime effectively.

Ryan Horban
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