At some point, all of us have felt like we were being watched. In a lot of ways, you can’t help it – with so much technology surrounding us all day, every day, it’s easy to develop the sneaking suspicion that we may be involved in some type of elaborate hoax right out of “The Truman Show,” with our daily lives being orchestrated by unknown forces. Most people are able to fight this urge due to the understanding that it really makes no sense. We’re just being paranoid. There’s really nothing to worry about.
Then, there are those times where it turns out we were right on the money.
This was exactly what happened to one Tacoma woman recently, when she kept running into her ex and strange times around the Gig Harbor area. The first time it happened, she thought it was a coincidence. Then, it happened again and again. That’s when she found the hidden GPS tracker that had been planted on her car. Suddenly, it all made perfect sense.
The Gig Harbor GPS Tracker: What Happened
A Gig Harbor, Washington woman had recently filed a restraining order against her 37-year-old ex-boyfriend due to certain issues that they’d been having toward the end of their relationship. She thought things had ended there, but sadly her nightmare was just beginning.
One afternoon while running errands, the man had appeared at three separate places she’d been that day. First at a coffee shop, then at a hardware store and finally in the isles of her local grocery store. One of those times could have easily been an unfortunate coincidence. Possibly two. But by the third time the ex-boyfriend had made his presence known, the woman knew something was amiss.
She immediately called the police and explained the situation. The woman was very afraid that she was somehow being tracked via her cell phone, so a police sergeant took it to a local cell phone store. After careful examination, employees said that they could find no evidence that this was happening. However, something HAD to be going on. These couldn’t be random encounters.
Interestingly, it was one of the cell phone store employees who suggested going to an auto store to have the woman’s car checked for a tracking device. She drove her car to the local dealership to drop it off, and the next day she received the most unfortunate of phone calls: a magnetic, waterproof GPS was attached to the underside of her car.
The woman immediately phoned the police to inform them of what she found, and they spoke with the ex-boyfriend directly. The ex-boyfriend acknowledged that he was at the coffee shop and other places from the day before but insisted that it was just random happenstance. There was nothing going on. He didn’t know what the GPS tracker was about, and he certainly didn’t place it there. The police, to their credit, weren’t exactly willing to take his word for it.
Pierce County prosecutors decided that the evidence was just too much to ignore, so they charged him with both stalking and violating the restraining order. At first, he maintained his innocence – but later admitted to installing the GPS device and tracking her for several days via his computer. The man was quickly arraigned, posted a $30,000 bail and was released.
Again, this should serve as an important lesson to all of us: It is very, very easy for someone to track you without your knowledge in the digital world that we’re now living in. Yes, technology has changed our lives for the better in immeasurable ways. But these benefits have a dark side as well, and one that we will likely have to continue to battle for years to come. Whether we will have to eventually give up ALL of our privacy for the sake of convenience remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure – these types of incidents are only going to get more and more common as time goes on.