CrimeTracker 15: Victim, Police Track Down Stolen Items Thanks To GPS Device

Posted Friday, July 6, 2012 --- 1:50 p.m.

From the Madison Police Department:

Incident Type:
Theft From Auto

Incident Date:
07/06/2012 - 8:44 AM

Address:
4100 block Manitou Way

Arrested:
Timothy I. Ingram, age 44, Madison
Mr. Ingram was arrested for Theft.

Victim:
Male, age 67, California

Details:
The long-arm of the law got a high-tech assist this morning as a veteran thief is cuffed within a couple of hours a stealing some $4,000 worth of cameras and other property from a car parked in a Nakoma Neighborhood driveway.

The satellite-based navigation system track began shortly after a 67-year old California man ventured out to his car around 8:45 a.m. It was parked in front and his son’s Manitou Way home, where he and his wife are currently visiting. He quickly realized someone had swiped their gray and black Lands’ End backpack containing - among other items - three digital cameras, various lenses, and most importantly (at least in terms of the soon-to-be-mounted investigation) an Apple iPad.

The West Coast victim assumed the role of cyber-sleuth and was able to provide the responding officer with the approximate current location of the iPad courtesy of the unit’s GPS.

The trouble was the location, according to GPS, was in Lake Wingra. The officer, who was in full military uniform, half-joked about it being a good chance to cool down on this sweltering day. She also told the victims, in all seriousness, finding their stolen property may still be a long shot as Vilas, the park nearest the GPS coordinates, can be a very busy place.

However, to her surprise, this manhunt would be short-lived. The iPad was found, in clear view, inside the first parked vehicle the officer checked after pulling her squad up near the beach.

It was a Chevrolet Astro van. The iPad was on the passenger seat, being charged. Near it was a black and gray Lands End backpack. It was at that very moment the van’s driver returned. The officer was pretty blunt, asking him almost immediately if that was his iPad. He said it was not and soon was confessing to the theft.

The officer let the California couple know their things were not in the lake, or on a boat, but high and dry and about to be back in their hands. They were very excited about the news, very excited to see how technology can turn a tourist into an amateur gumshoe.


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