Mixed among the laptops stolen from Roambee’s offices were 100 GPS tracking units the company manufacturers.
“Fortunately, I don’t think burglars were very smart in that aspect,” said Santa Clara Police Lt. Dan Moreno. “They thought [the GPS trackers] were cell phone chargers.”
When investigators arrived at the burglary scene, they were greeted with some surprising information from company officials.
“When our officer went to take the (burglary) report, the owners of the company informed them that these were, in fact, GPS units,” Moreno told KCBS. “They were tracking them to areas in the East Bay and they (the devices) were pretty accurate within 10 meters.”
Police were able to track the stolen devices to locations in Union City and Oakland.
Detectives tracked the GPS signal into Union City and took a state prison parolee into custody. In a storage unit, they located stolen property including items from the Roambee burglary.
A second active GPS device led to a traffic stop in Alameda where a man and woman were taken into custody.
Names of the suspects were not being released because the case is still an on-going investigation.
Moreno said the tale had a simple message for anyone contemplating a burglary.
“Crime doesn’t pay,” he said. “We’ll track you down one way or another.”