From the category archives:

Police and Government

Reports out of Canada have an Ontario man founding a GPS tracking device while performing a routine inspection of his truck. The device was secured to the wheel well of Ben Ferrill’s truck with a magnetic case.

According to the victim, the tracking device was lit up like a Christmas tree when he found it. This suggests that the tracker was on and sending position information when found by Mr. Ferrill.

The device appears to be a PT-X5 Pro from US Fleet Tracking. The real-time GPS tracking device is priced at $650 and boasts a battery life of about 80 hours. This would suggest that the tracker was a fresh addition to Mr. Ferrill’s vehicle. He was lucky he found it.

When asked why a tracker could have been found on his vehicle Mr. Ferrill mentioned that he was currently in a dispute with a former employer over wrongful termination. Mr. Ferrill claims that he was fired after suffering an injury while on the job, a claim that is currently under investigation.

It would not be unheard off for his former employer (or an agent hired by his former employer) to have installed a tracking device on his car in order to help them build evidence over the nature of Mr. Ferrill’s injuries and ability to work. The police, however, have been unable to determine the owner of the device even though that information is held by US Fleet Tracking.

US Fleet Tracking has the following privacy policy:

US Fleet Tracking will not under any circumstance make your information or any data specific to your vehicle tracking account available to any third party – including local, state, or federal law enforcement authorities – without a court order signed by a judge specifically requiring us to release this information. Otherwise, we promise we will not release your personal, private data to any individual who does not have your userid and password (so please keep them secure). The ONLY exception to this policy is if YOU – our customer – specifically request our assistance in the prosecution of criminal activity as it relates to your account. This would include auto theft, or the prosecution of any other crime which was committed in one of your vehicles tracked by the US Fleet Tracking system. In such cases, we are happy to assist in any way possible, but we must ask that any expenses incurred in the process of assisting you – including serving as an expert witness in any legal investigation or court proceeding – be fully reimbursed. At US Fleet Tracking, we have an acute understanding of how important our customer truly is, and we are tirelessly dedicated to keeping those customers happy – whatever it takes.

The following text has also been reported as being located on the US Fleet Tracking website (but we were unable to find it, indicating that it has been removed since news of this story broke):

Even if presented with a court order, we promise to fight the courts to keep this information private and respect the privacy of our paying customers

It would certainly be frustrating to know that you could find out who was tracking you illegally but are unable to because the company that holds that information won’t give it out to you.

Source: CBC via autoblog Canada

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Cell Phone Tracking Leads Police to Suspect, Shootout

February 24, 2012

Cell phone tracking was a key element in a late night Farmington, Missouri shootout straight out of a TV crime drama. The shootout ended in the wounding on Deputy and the death of the suspect who was pronounced dead on the scene. The entire ordeal started at 12:07 AM when bail bonding agents contacted the [...]

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USF Patents Reverse 911 System, Crowdsourced Crime Fighting For Cell Phones With GPS

January 30, 2012

Researchers and engineers from the University of South Florida have been awarded a patent that could see the public better informed about crime and disasters than ever before.  The patent (US8045954) covers a system that would enable governments to crowdsource crime fighting as well as laser target disaster announcements to mobile phones using a GPS [...]

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Stolen Cell Phone Found By Using GPS Tracking App

January 12, 2012

A man was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property after the owner of a cell phone tracked it to a residence in Sacramento, California. According to reports from KCRA, a news station in Sacramento, the unidentified victim reported his cell phone stolen through an online reporting form but then decided to take matters [...]

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Sad Mother Pleads For Stolen Cell Phone Back, Gives Police GPS Info

January 11, 2012

Cell phones can sometimes house our most precious memories. One Florida mother is living with the reality of having these memories stolen from her and her terminally ill 3-year-old daughter. Melissa Vazquez lost her phone while out on the town with some family members on Sunday, January 8th. She was at the Passion Nightclub at [...]

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FCC Rules GPS Must Be In VoIP, Cell Phones For E911 Tracking

October 8, 2011

According to this ruling by the FCC all wireless providers and VoIP services are required to use GPS tracking technology to provide E911 services to their customers and the government. The idea behind the ruling is to create a more reliable and faster working location finding mechanism for people who are making distressed phone calls. [...]

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Criminal Makes Mistake, Commits Crime With GPS Tracking Bracelet On

January 15, 2011

A 17 year old burglary suspect has an air tight case against him thanks to the GPS tracking bracelet he was wearing while committing two additional robbers. Why he would commit the crimes while wearing the tracking device is anyone’s guess. Perhaps he enjoys being a criminal? Here is the report out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin [...]

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Virginia State Legislator Plans On Introducing GPS Tracking Bill To Legislature

January 15, 2011

In the wake of recent tragedy, one Virginia legislator is looking to GPS tracking technology for a solution. According to reports out of Martinsville, Virginia, Del. Ward Armstrong is going to be proposing a bill to the Legislature that will bring real time GPS tracking for certain types of criminals. Here is the report from [...]

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Cell Phone Tracking Catches Teenage Burglars

November 4, 2010

Cell phones are incredibly powerful devices for people seeking to protect themselves and their families. It, however, is not as well known that cell phones are also great devices to get stolen – especially if they have GPS tracking application installed in them! Check out this news story: A parental tracking device in a cell [...]

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Man Finds Out GPS Tracking Does Not Say I Love You

November 4, 2010

I don’t think this Jacksonville, Florida man knew what he was getting himself into when he placed a GPS tracking device on the car of his estranged wife. He probably thought he was somehow telling her that he love him. Apparently both she and the police have a different opinion about that type of activity. [...]

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Halloween, Sex Offenders, and GPS Tracking

October 29, 2010

A new app has just been released that is going to help parents know if their kids are trick or treating in areas where known sex offenders live. The app, called Trick or Tracker, is priced at $9.99 but is now available for free for the Halloween season. It seems that the app requires the [...]

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