stolentractor_20100324160709_320_240After having his business equipment stolen numerous times before (worth around $50,000), Scott Williams, a Tampa businessman, decided to take the matter of protecting his property into his own hands. He installed GPS trackers in his business truck and all of his landscaping equipment, so that he would be able to track its exact location in case it was stolen again.

And when it did get stolen yesterday morning, he logged on a friend’s computer and was able to see exactly where the truck and stolen equipment was heading. He then called up the police and gave them the exact location of the truck.

“When the vehicle was taken, he got with a friend who could track it on his home computer and was able to give our officer a play-by-play, street-by-street location of that vehicle as it was fleeing the area,” said Lt. Bruce Leidholdt.

Thanks to the GPS trackers, within a few hours, all of Scott’s equipment and truck was returned to him and he was able to get back to work.

Now most people wouldn’t normally expect lawnmowers and landscaping equipment to be tracked by GPS, but when you really think about it, all of this equipment is really expensive.

“A mower is $15,000. A weed eater is $400. Back pack blower is, like, $600. This stuff gets expensive,” Williamson said.

As of right now, the police haven’t found the thief, but they have found what seems to be his car and a gun inside it. And as for Scott Williams, he is just happy that the thieves didn’t put him out of business.

(Via MyFoxTampaBay)

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towtrucksSomeone snuck into a Fort Lauderdale towing company’s parking lot in the dead of night. Someone believed they could be reckless, and that they were above the law when they stole two tow trucks. Someone believed that they would never get caught. What these someone’s didn’t understand was that GPS tracking could and would put an end to their hair-brained schemes.

Fort Lauderdale police arrested two men on Saturday for the theft of the tow trucks. Both were equipped with GPS tracking devices, which had been used to track all movement of the tow trucks during the time they were stolen. A number of stolen items, including car rims, were found in the suspects collection of goods. Police did not immediately identify the men.

Jason Parrett, owner of the Fort Lauderdale repossession truck company First Response Towing and Recovery, said the GPS tracking units were crucial in finding the missing wreckers.

“Without it we wouldn’t have found the trucks,” said Parrett, who has all three trucks in his fleet hooked up with GPS technology.

Parrett said that he was alerted by an employee early Saturday that the trucks were missing and reacted to the situation by pulling up their locations on his wife’s BlackBerry, which is linked to their GPS units to give the company maximum oversight.

After GPS maps showed Ford F-450′s in Oakland Park and the Lauderdale Manors section of the city, Parrett’s drivers were able to find one F-450 abandoned in Oakland Park. When the other was located on Northwest 13th Avenue, the driver observed a man taking the wrecker. The truck was followed by the driver and eventually abandoned when the culprit realized he was being followed.

The GPS system’s activity report was so efficient that it basically did all the police’s work for them, showing where the trucks had been, places where they had been parked for extended periods and how fast they had been driven.This information was used to arrest the culprits on the 1700 block of Northwest 13th Avenue, a location listed in the report.

“The detailed activity reports in these are disgustingly accurate,” Parrett said of the system, which cost him $300 to install and $20 a month for airtime for each of his three trucks.

(Via Miami Herald)

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