06cellphone_600Law enforcement’s use of sophisticated cellular tracking techniques to observe suspects before arrest and to build cases against them in criminal cases is building all across the country, and is raising major concern over civil liberties and privacy rights. Existing law is outdated and does not give set guidelines on the use of cellular tracking techniques. Federal wiretap laws are behind the times in passing laws on the use of data to find a person’s location, and guidelines cannot be passed when local laws differ in separate regions of the U.S.
For more than a decade, law enforcement had the technology to match an antenna tower with a cellphone signal so that a cellphone’s location could be tracked to within a radius of 200 yards in urban areas and 20 miles in urban ones. Now, cellular technology is sophisticated enough that its GPS systems can mark a user’s position to within a few dozen yards. Law enforcement can track suspects in real time by having phone companies send signals to a phone that is turned on.

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bcdr_pc0010400nwanews-logo1In Rogers, Arkansas, a GPS “money tracker” slipped into a bag during a bank robbery allowed police to track the suspect and make an arrest Friday, July 3rd. The suspect is now being held on a $200,000 bond as he stands accused of robbing one bank and attempting to rob another. Anthony Timothy Barnes, 31, of Rogers faces two counts of aggravated robbery and a count of felony theft of property. The robbery charges are class Y felonies, meaning Barnes could receive a sentence of 10 to 40 years on each of the counts.

Barnes one-day crime spree both started and ended haphazardly. On Friday, a call at 3:16 P.M. made police aware of an attempted robbery at First Federal Bank on West Huston Road. The robber was unable to steal any money due to the bullet-proof glass protecting the tellers.

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