The Chicago Tribune has an interesting story about a bank’s use of GPS, a location-tracking technology, to find robbery suspects.
[A] relatively new feature in bank security — credit-card-size GPS devices hidden in stolen cash — led police almost instantly to the suspects, according to an FBI affidavit.
FBI and banking officials said they believed it was the first time the technology — similar to what is increasingly used in cell phones and other devices — had been deployed to solve a bank robbery in the Chicago region. The FBI did use a GPS device last year to help free a man being held for $40,000 ransom, placing it in a bag of money tracked to a South Side home. […]
The devices — which can broadcast GPS, cell-phone and RF signals that police can monitor using a Web browser — are not completely foolproof. The devices — which can broadcast GPS, cell-phone and RF signals that police can monitor using a Web browser — are not completely foolproof. A locksmith hired to work at one bank opened the vault while unsupervised and emptied a drawerful of cash — and a tracking device — into his toolbox, setting off an alarm, according to a 2008 wireless-industry presentation by Richard Fuller, co-founder of the firm that made the devices before it was acquired last year.
Police who responded watched as the device seemed to “shuffle” through the bank, but didn’t notice when the locksmith walked past them out the door. When the device moved away from the bank, officials at first thought it was “location uncertainty.”
The suspect then found the device while counting the cash at a McDonald’s and tossed it into the bed of the restaurant manager’s pickup truck, Fuller said. But he still got caught. After the manager turned the device over to police, witnesses reported seeing the locksmith counting cash at the restaurant.