Crime-Solving GPS Replaces Sherlock Holmes

What if Sherlock Holmes had more than a magnifying glass and wit to solve crimes? Modern detectives are solving crimes and catching criminals faster than before – all with the help of GPS systems!

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As GPS use increases, it only makes sense that criminals are included in the number of GPS users. OnStar’s popularity skyrocketed when it helped police nab carjackers and kidnappers, and now GPS is starting to bring similar results of justice.

Catching a Murderer in Chicago

In Chicago, prosecutors used data from the car sat nav device in Eric Hanson’s vehicle to pinpoint his whereabouts after his parents, sister, and brother-in-law were murdered. He was later convicted of these crimes and sentenced to death.

Stopping a Rapist and an Arsonist with GPS

In Butte, Montana, prosecutors were allowed to use the accused man’s car GPS to track his movements and convict him of rape. His in car GPS, with the help of satellite navigation, proved his prowling habits as he stalked his victims.

Similarly, in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, a man was convicted of arson by the help of GPS tracking. Police proved the man set fire to his own house while his rig, fitted with in car sat nav, sat only 100 yards from his house during the time of the fire.

Locating Suspects with GPS

Police are only growing more comfortable applying the benefits of tracking via satellite navigation to determine the whereabouts of criminal suspects during a crime. GPS can function as an alibi-breaker if the suspect has a sat nav in his vehicle, or if he used a cell phone or toll booth that had GPS installed.

By reviewing memory cards in sat navs or portable GPS units, law enforcement can access map searches and routed destinations pertinent to the crime. Using the GPS track back feature could also allow police access to vehicle location information on specific dates and times.

Even Preventing Students from Skipping Class

GPS is now being used by the National Dropout Prevention Center to reduce student truancy. Truants are now given portable GPS devices with alarms to remind the student of his class schedule, instead of juvenile detention. These specialized portable GPS devices require the student to press a button confirming class attendance once reaching the school.

Reducing crime rates through GPS, especially with specialized GPS software available today, should help law-abiding citizens sleep better.

Photo Credit: Reuters

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