GPS tracking technology has become so powerful (and affordable) that you truly can never be sure who is watching your every move. When you’re a private citizen just going about your daily business, this certainly raises a number of privacy concerns, in particular, that are more than worth exploring. If you’re someone planning on conducting an armed robbery of a local retail establishment, this is obviously a lesson that you wouldn’t want to learn the hard way… yet that’s exactly what happened to some would-be criminals after the Denver Police Department caught up with them in October of 2017.
The Denver PD and Hidden GPS Trackers: What Happened
A local Denver, Colorado marijuana dispensary was unfortunately robbed in July of 2017. The gunmen walked into the store, pointed guns at customers and employees, and made off with a significant amount of cash. In conjunction with the local police force, the dispensary was given a hidden GPS tracker to use in the event that they were robbed again in the future.
Unfortunately, that precautionary measure turned out to be absolutely necessary as the dispensary was robbed again just a month later. However, employees were able to slip the small GPS tracker into the bag with money as the robbers made off with their loot. The police followed the signal from that tracker and apprehended all four suspects just a short time later.
Not only were two of the four defendants from the second robbery charged with aggravated robbery and first-degree kidnapping, but it was also revealed that the other two defendants were the same men who robbed the store just a few weeks earlier! Apparently, the old saying that “they always return to the scene of the crime” is actually true.
While this story had a somewhat happy ending, the real thing to pay attention to here is the power of the technology at play. According to court documents, the second robbery began at around 9:30 pm. The criminals entered the dispensary, pointed pistols at everyone in the immediate area, and ordered everyone to get on the floor. They took two full cash registers filled with money, along with what is described as “numerous packages of marijuana.” They then fled in a car, having been in the store for no more than five or so minutes.
Not ten minutes later, the local police department received a call from a company that monitors GPS tracking devices in cash drawers at retail locations. The company informed the police what was going on and that a GPS tracker had been taken along with money in the robbery. The police were then immediately able to track the device within 39 feet, which led them right to the criminals.
Officers who arrived at the location saw two people walking out of a rear door into an alleyway. One of them fled, while the other stopped and waited to be apprehended. Police were able to catch up with the robber that fled, along with the two other men involved in the incident, a short time later.
The information obtained from the GPS tracker, along with security camera footage from inside the dispensary itself, led to the prosecution of all four criminals. From start to finish, police were able to take complete control over the situation with lightning speed and surgical-like precision – something that would absolutely not have been possible had the hidden GPS tracker not been present in the first place.
GPS tracking technology, along with other advancements like hidden cameras, has certainly raised a number of completely valid privacy questions in recent years. Yet at the same time, they have absolutely made it possible for situations like this to occur as well. Four armed robbers were caught almost immediately after a crime and not a single shot took place. Yes, we should always be protective of our privacy no matter what – but sometimes you truly do have to take the good with the bad, so to speak.