You’d never suspect him to be a thief. Neighbors say he is a nice family man with young kids. But Logan County local law enforcers thought otherwise. They nailed Fredrick Warner III for several counts of burglary totaling some $100k, including two John Deere skid steersworth some $45k eachwhich led to his arrest right in his home along Simpson Road. And it’s all thanks to a GPS tracker hidden inside his latest booty.
Bug Gave Him Away
Warner never suspected that the skid steer he stole had a small GPS device installed inside that led authorities right to his home. The police, after discovering the stolen skid steer kept in a vacant property right in front of Warner’s house, also found several more items suspected to be stolen, like another skid steer, ATVs, four guns, a motorcycle, and lawnmowers, to name a few.
As could be expected, Warner denied having anything to do with any robbery and claimed a friend was responsible for the skid steer, denying any knowledge that it had been stolen. But Chief Deputy Rich Stevens knew better. He found records of Warner’s criminal history in addition to some legal problems. These leads and evidences all led to the arrest of Warner and his wife, Miranda Johnson, nabbed for a drug paraphernalia warrant. And everything started with GPS tracking that gave away his illegal activities and exact location.
Planting a GPS device in items that are likely to be hot with thieves, mostly vehicles, is a smart move. GPS real time tracking devices placed in cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, or in this case – a John Deere Skid Steers — send out their exact locations to their owners at regular intervals. Most GPS trackers send location updates every minute or less. Thus, once the item is stolen, the device continues to send its location no matter where the culprits take it. When the item is reported missing, all the owner has to do is open the dedicated website online assigned to the GPS device and see on satellite map its complete whereabouts.
In the case of Warner, he never suspected the presence of the GPS tracker. All he had in mind probably was that keeping the item in an abandoned property not directly linked to him but which he could easily access was enough to hide the booty until the situation cooled down. He must have thought that as long as he kept a nice image in his neighborhood, he’d never be found out.
But GPS cannot be fooled by appearances. It directed authorities to the stolen item exactly where it was, regardless of the suspect’s community standing, and unmasking his real person in the process.