It’s Friday!! Which of course means that as we wrap up another week, we’ve come across new and ever-increasing examples of GPS tracking finding its way into our society, and we wanted to share a few. This is a testament to the public’s increased familiarity with location-based tracking services, and the surge in adopters of GPS technology.

“GPS tracking device dooms serial burglar”

Man wearing GPS tracking device linked to more than 20 crimes

This is a funny one. Police in Akron, Ohio recently investigated a series of break-ins at several local businesses, where the suspect gained entry and, in a few cases, pried into the cash register using a crowbar. Suffice it to say, a call to Scotland Yard would have been wholly unnecessary in bringing this particular criminal to justice.

As the investigation was ongoing, the police realized that they had a major clue on their side, the GPS tracking device that the suspect had strapped to his ankle!

While investigating the case, Akron detectives received a call from their colleagues in Norton informing of the possible identity of the guilty party, one James Kilmire. Norton police had recently arrested Kilmire on breaking and entering charges, who was then released shortly thereafter with a shiny new GPS tracking device used to monitor him for any additional wrongdoing.

So, in a decision sure to make it into the IQ Hall-of-Fame, Mr. Kilmire decided to become a serial burglar while wearing the very same tracking device that was strapped to him for being a burglar in the first place. The icing on the cake is that Akron detectives located and arrested him by, you guessed it, the GPS tracking device he was wearing. Perhaps he can use a navigation device to help find some brain cells!


“Problems with GPS tracking of offenders in Wisconsin delays additional programs.”

Lawmakers hold up funding for GPS tracking, call for study
Lawmakers hold up funding for GPS tracking, call for study

On a more serious note, we’ve come across another example of the problems related to the monitoring of criminal offenders using GPS tracking devices. The current failures of this application are leading to a damaging ripple-effect across other programs.

One recent case is of Wisconsin lawmakers delaying funding sought by the state Department of Corrections for expansion of their GPS tracking program. Their concern with the accuracy and reliability of the system is a legitimate one, brought about by rampant false positives resulting in offenders on the program being thrown back in jail, losing jobs, increasingly strained personal relationships, and more. Not to mention the wasted resources of police and parole agents responding to offenders that weren’t breaking the law. “People are concerned with the accuracy of the GPS monitoring devices,” said state Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee.

On the surface, and as a GPS tracking provider, this issue is easy to dissect. The tracking technology being deployed in these applications isn’t properly designed to monitor offenders. These offenders are most likely on some sort of home-confinement, rarely leaving if at all. The tracking devices don’t seem to be designed to function primarily in an indoor environment. The proper devices to deploy for this application would be hybrid devices, most likely integrating AGPS or RFID technology, thus enhancing reliability and bolstering the strength of the transmitted signals. This, among other things in the device scripting, would go a long way toward remedying these false positives. It sounds like this application requires a complete redesign. Until that happens, expect these problems to continue.



We have more great articles in our archives on GPS tracking technology. GPS Tracking For Dementia Patients Creating Controversy In The U.K.