Janesville, Wisconsin (AP) — To track down this alleged thief, all police had to do was on a computer. A 40-year-old man was arrested Wednesday and charged with stealing a computerized tracking device that uses a global positioning system to keep track of jail prisoners on home detention.
“He apparently didn’t know what he had because he would be awfully stupid to steal a tracking device,” said correctional officer Thomas Roth, who runs the home detention program at the Rock County Jail.
The $2,500 device was temporarily placed outside a home by a woman serving home detention. The device, which is a little bigger than a brick in size, has a built-in GPS satellite receiver.
Prisoners wear a transmitter about as big as a cigarette pack on the ankle, and it acts as a 100-foot tether to the portable tracking device.
By the time the prisoner called to report the theft Monday night, the device had automatically notified the jail that it had been taken outside the prisoner’s home area.
Roth then tracked the device through the Internet on his home computer.
A trail of electronic dots led authorities to an apartment building, where the suspect was captured.