Covert GPS Tracking: A Short Story

“Blue Dodger, this is Home Base.  Do you read me!? Over.”  The radio gives a slight crackle as the voice of Home Base abruptly ends with a click.  You slowly touch the radio button on your vest and respond to Home Base, “Home Base, this is Blue Dodger.  I copy.  Over.”  You feel a slight tickle of excitement course through your veins as you await the message.  You know that Home Base is going to be giving you something good.   You have installed a covert GPS tracking device on a target vehicle and Home Base is going to be giving you the coordinates for you to track it down and discover what they are up to.

“Blue Dodger, we have the vehicle parked outside 13141 West Palm Avenue.  Head on over and report back your findings.”  This is your very first covert op and you feel a surge of adrenaline wash over you like a shore breaking wave, smoothly rattling the content of your chest.  The drive to the location isn’t long and you soon find yourself on a normally quiet residential street with cars lined up bumper to bumper on both sides of the street.  You find the 1995 Teal Corolla that you attached your covert GPS tracking device to parked exactly where Home Base said it was, but the car is empty.

“Home Base, this is Blue Dodger.  I’ve found the vehicle, but its clean.  I’ll park and see if I can get a visual. Over.”

“That’s a Roger, Blue Dodger.  Report in when you have a visual.”

You get out of the car and park.  Your palms begin to sweet as you slowly walk through the lamp lit street, keeping a low profile while trying to observe as much as you can.  As you make your way back to the Corolla you notice the sound of loud, thumping music coming from the other end of the street.  Without any sign of activity at 13141 West Palm Avenue you make your way toward the music.

As you draw closer you begin to hear the din of voices, laughing and the steady thumping of base.  It looks like the driver of the Corolla may be at this party.  Unfortunately, you don’t have your party threads on and the age of the crowd is significantly below your own – but you press on anyway knowing that you need to find the driver of the Corolla before it is too late.  You radio back to Home Base, “This is Blue Dodger, I’m going in.”

The music inside the house is deafening and it is all you can do to hug a wall and work your way around the interior of the house.  There is no communication with Home Base now.  You scan the crowd looking for the driver you were tracking but they are nowhere to be found.  Then, all of a sudden, you see in the other room a the long blond hair of the driver you have been trying to covertly track.  She is standing talking to a man several years her elder, his face stubbled with  a healthy five o’clock shadow.

You make your move on the target.

But before you do, you need to create a diversion to get her away from Mr. Five O’Clock.  You pull out your trusty cell phone that has been relaying your position to Home Base via GPS.  You send a simple text message, using your full qwerty keyboard because that is how you roll, with the message,

create diversion. call target. test time

In just a moment you see Long Blond Hair reach into her bag and pull out a glowing, vibrating cell phone.  She looks up at Mr. Five O’Clock shadow and seems to say something.  He smiles and waves as she leaves the room.  She walks past you in a hurry, but you are still holding the wall tight and she doesn’t notice.  You had anticipated that since the room is dark except for the constant flashing of mutli-colored lights.

Long Blond Hair leaves the house at a run and is soon 50 feet away from the house when she puts the still glowing and vibrating cell phone to her ear.  “Hello,” her voice sounds strong and confident.  She pauses for just a second, then with an oune of frustration in her voice she says, “What do you want?  I’m watching a movie at Katie’s house.”  You walk up behind her and tap her on the shoulder.

She turns around with a sudden look of horror on her face.  “Dad,” she says with a little fear in her voice, “What are you doing here?”

“I think the question is, honey, what are you doing here?”

~~~

You don’t have to be a spy or a member of the FBI to be able to use covert GPS tracking.  With GPS in cell phones and other personal devices a parent, spouse, concerned citizen, or private investigator can track a wide aray of items or assets with GPS.  You can install GPS trackers in cars or use them to monitor a teen’s driving habits.

If you want to go with traditionally covert GPS devices then you are going to need to fork out some significant cash.  Round the clock monitoring and real-time tracking capabilities do not come cheap – so expect to shell out $100s just for the device itself.  Then you are also going to need to pay up for a service fee as well so you can get access to your tracking information.  You might be able to build your own system out of one of the open source GPS tracking devices that have skematics on the Internet, but then you need some high quality GPS tracking software as well to make sure that your data is getting stored and displayed properly.  There is open source software for this too, but you will have to trade some of your precious time to learn how to use it.

In the end analysis, almost anyone with enough money is going to have access to tracking with GPS – and you don’t even need that much money anymore to get some really cool, cover GPS tracking devices.

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