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Thieves Use GPS Home Navigation Feature to "Guide" in Home Burglaries

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GPS devices are incredibly handy in providing directions: no more driving around aimlessly looking for your destination, or attempting to read a print-out map from your lap. However, as many GPS owners know, it is vital to remove your GPS every time you leave your vehicle, since there are many thieves willing to snatch the device at the first opportunity. But now there is even more reason to take your GPS with you when you leave your vehicle: not only can thieves sell a stolen GPS for a $100 on the street, but now they can also use it to track where you live and cash-in on a home burglary, too.

With the push of a button–the "home" navigational feature on most GPS models–will lead a thief right to your house. Now it’s just a matter of breaking into your home, and if you have a garage door opener in your vehicle, then it’s all the easier. In fact, just last month, two men were accused of a GPS-guided crime spree in Michigan and northern Ohio, allegedly breaking into vehicles at local shopping centers and stealing GPS units to guide them to the owners’ homes. Overall, the police figure that over 20 communities were affected by the burglaries.

While some GPS models have lock-out features, most users don’t bother with setting the lock. Plus, thieves may be able to break the lock combination anyway, gaining access to the owner’s home address. Instead, Garmin spokeswoman, Jessica Myers, states that the GPS manufacturing company encourages owners to use common sense. For example, most consumers wouldn’t dare leave their cell phone in the car, so apply the same method to a GPS unit and take it with you when you leave your vehicle.

2 Comments

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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    Wow, it does make sense. It is amazing how new things bring all the other unintended consequences. I would guess nice cars get all sorts of attention.

  2. Andy says:
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    If someone can break into your car most driver’s have stored in the glove box the car ownership and insurance papers with the address printed on it. No GPS needed to find out your address.