golden-eagle-gps A golden eagle that was trapped in a coyote trap will soon return to the wild. After being saved  and nursed back to health at the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center, the golden eagle is finally healthy and ready to be released. The researchers also attached a small GPS tracking device to the back of the eagle to track where he flies and better understand where the golden eagles migrate.

(Via minnesota.publicradio.org)

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dallas-car-chaseRecently Massachusetts state court ruled that the use of covert GPS can be installed by the police on a suspects vehicle without the suspect’s knowledge, provided that they have a warrant. The law states that as long as the police can prove that the GPS monitoring system will either provide evidence that a crime was committed or is about to be committed, then it can be planted on a vehicle. The warrant also states that the device can only be left on the vehicle for 15 days, while most warrants are only active for seven days.

Police had recently used GPS technology to track a local drug dealer named Everett H. Connolly. Local law enforcement had secretly installed the device on Conolly’s minivan and tracked his whereabouts to New York where he purchased and sold crack cocaine. He was then pulled over on the Route 6 highway where police arrested him after finding a ball of crack on him that weighed 124 grams.

One of the Justices, Ralph Grants,  stated “Our constitutional analysis should focus on the privacy interest at risk from contemporaneous GPS monitoring, not simply the property interest.” He also stated “Only then will we be able to establish a constitutional jurisprudence that can adapt to changes in the technology of real-time monitoring, and that can better balance the legitimate needs of law enforcement with the legitimate privacy concerns of our citizens.”

So far the ability to use GPS monitoring on suspects through the use of a warrant has proven very useful. The recent rules set up by the justices allow for appropriate use of the new technology that is not invasive of private life but allows for the police to effectively fight crime in ways that they never could before.

(Via Metro Desk)


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gps_ankle_braceletPolice plan to use GPS coordinates to try and determine the location of a teen involved in the shooting of a five year old girl. Lamont Davis was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet that police cut off when he was arrested. Davis’ defense attorneys have also stated that at least three other witnesses identified another person as the shooter.

A motion was filed in the Baltimore Circuit Court stating that the makers of the GPS ankle device device have records showing that Davis was in violation of his parole at 4:09 pm. The defense attorney’s hope to prove that because the company is based in Nebraska the records reflected Central Daylight Time which would mean that Davis had violated his parole in Baltimore at 5:09 pm. Vicki Anzalone will testify that Davis “no more than 150 feet” from his residence which is half a mile away from the shooting site.

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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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115-0_62_gps_320A Massachusetts court ruled today that sex offenders convicted before 2006 could not be forced to wear GPS monitoring devices. The court ruled that retroactively forcing sex offenders to wear the tracking devices violates state and federal constitutions.Vice president of Community Voices, Debbie Savoia, described the ruling as a “slap in the face” to sex crime victims as well as a threat to public safety.

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