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Where Do Police Put Tracking Devices On Cars

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Is It Theft To Remove A Gps Tracking Device

CBPD investigates GPS tracker put on vehicle

At trial, Heuring’s legal team argued that the search had been illegal because the police didn’t have probable cause to believe their client had committed theft. The defense pointed out that the device could have fallen off the car by accident or simply malfunctioned.

Even if Heuring did take the device off the vehicle, he couldn’t have known for sure that it belonged to the government. It wasn’t exactly labeled as the property of the Warrick County Sheriff’s Office. Most important, it’s not clear that taking an unwanted device off your car is thefteven if you know who it belongs to.

With the case now at the state Supreme Court, the stakes are high. If Heuring can show that the police lacked probable cause to search his house, he could get all of the evidence gathered in the search thrown outnot only evidence of GPS device theft, but evidence of drug dealing, too.

An appellate court ruled against Heuring in July, leading to the case reaching the Indiana Supreme Court earlier this month. Initially, multiple justices seemed skeptical of the idea that taking a tracking device off your own car amounted to theft.

“If somebody wants to find me to do harm to me and it’s not the police and they put a tracking device on my car and I find a tracking device and I dispose of it after stomping on it 25 times, I would hope they would not be able to go to a local prosecutor and somehow I’m getting charges filed against me for destroying someone else’s property,” Justice David said.

Perform A Physical Inspection

1. Check the Exterior

You want to check all the locations where a tracker could be hidden. A tracking device placed on the exterior of your vehicle needs to be weatherproof and compact.

  • Using a flashlight, check both front and rear wheel wells. Use your hand to feel in areas that arent easily visible. If a tracker is located in the wheel well, its magnet will need to be attached to a metal part, so look behind plastic covers that dont require removal.

  • Look beneath the undercarriage. Use a mirror on an extendable pole to look far underneath your vehicle. Be aware: the undercarriage gets very dirty. If theres a tracker attached, it will likely be equally dirty and require a discerning eye to spot.

  • Look behind your bumpers. While most bumpers dont have many spaces to hide a tracker, it is an ideal location if room can be found within.

  • Inspect under the hood. Lift your hood and look for a tracking device stuck to the strut towers, the firewall, behind the radiator, or hidden among the battery, air ducts, and other components. Note: it is unlikely a tracker would be under the hood as it would be exposed to temperatures that could damage its delicate electrical componentry.

  • Tip: A tracking device needs to be accessible to the party who installed it, so it will typically be in a location where it can very quickly and inconspicuously be removed. Your efforts are best given to locations close to the edge of your vehicle.

2. Inspect the Interior

Finding A Hidden Gps Tracker On Your Car

If you suspect that someone may have hidden a GPS tracker somewhere in your car, you’ll need some basic tools like a flashlight, mechanic’s mirror, and a creeper or mat of some kind to help you slide under the vehicle. In instances where a simple visual inspection isn’t sufficient, specialized equipment like electronic sweepers or bug detectors may also be necessary.

The basic steps involved in locating a hidden GPS tracker on your car are:

  • Perform an exterior inspection: Use a flashlight and mirror to check areas like the wheel wells and under the vehicle. Most trackers are hidden in easy to reach locations.

    The tracker may be dirty and difficult to see.

  • Perform an interior inspection: Check the data port first. Most GPS trackers are small, so don’t overlook any potential hiding spot such as the trunk.

  • Sweep the vehicle with a bug detector: Bug detectors are available from many of the same places where you can find trackers. Be aware that some trackers only transmit when the vehicle is moving and sweepers can’t detect passive trackers.

  • Know when to seek professional help: If you suspect that someone hid a tracker on your car, but you can’t find it, a professional may be able to help. Technicians specializing in automotive electronics, car audio, and car alarms often have the necessary expertise and equipment.

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    Where Are Gps Tracking Devices Placed On Cars

    You can install a GPS tracking device nearly anywhere on a car or fleet vehicle- in the front or rear bumper, wheel wells, under floor mats or seats, or in the glove compartment. However, for fleet tracking purposes, GPS trackers are almost always installed on the dashboard through an on board diagnostics port.

    Originally, mechanics used OBD ports to run diagnostic reports and interface with the vehicleâs onboard computer. These same ports can also be used to give drivers real-time information on vehicle performance including fuel efficiency, temperature, airflow, speed, and more.

    OBD tracking devices are now so common that even insurance companies are using them to provide discounts to safe drivers. However, not all OBD devices are the same, and fleet managers should carefully consider the additional features before they choose a GPS fleet system.

    How Law Enforcement Use Gps

    Court Rules Probable

    When it comes to using a law enforcement GPS tracker, the most immediate use is probably the idea of tracking a suspects movements , but that isnt the only way in which police and other law enforcement officers use GPS. In fact, check out the ways 10 law enforcement agencies that use GPS tracking use the surveillance devices:

  • FBI: The Federal Bureau of Investigation regularly has GPS tracking on suspects vehicles, with as many as 3,000 individual vehicles being tracked at any point back in 2012. Most experts suspect the number of vehicles tracked has only gotten higher since then.
  • DFW: Both state and federal Fish and Wildlife departments have been known to use GPS tracking to monitor suspected cannabis cultivators on public lands.
  • BLM: The Bureau of Land Management has similarly used GPS tracking both to monitor suspected cannabis cultivators and ranchers or sheepherders it suspects may have run afoul the land-use arrangements to which they have previously agreed.
  • DMV: Some states, such as California, are proposing use taxes for vehicles. The way these pilot programs work is by attaching a tracking device to the license plate drivers would then be taxed based on the mileage driven, as reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles by their GPS tracking devices.
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    Legal Issues That May Arise With The Use Of Gps Trackers

    Before using a GPS unit to track a suspect’s vehicle, police officers generally need to obtain a warrant. This is because attaching or installing a tracking device on someone else’s vehicle is considered to be roughly equivalent to a search. The Fourth Amendment protects against “unreasonable searches” and privacy plays a major role in this concern. While it is unquestionably important for police officers to have and utilize the best tools to locate and apprehend criminals, it is necessary to follow all legal precautions in their use.

    Using GPS trackers and locators for vehicle tracking can help police departments do their job more efficiently and effectively. Recent legal decisions have made it clear that the installation of GPS tracking devices is subject to the protection of the Fourth Amendment, therefore law enforcement needs to take the appropriate precautions and obtain a warrant before using GPS devices for certain purposes. If handled correctly, GPS trackers offer an effective means for police departments to manage their forces, gather evidence, and apprehend criminals.

    Can Police Put A Gps On My Car

    The simple answer to this question is yes. If for some reason local or federal authorities suspect a individual is involved in criminal activity, they can easily acquire a warrant that will allow them to put a GPS tracking system on that persons car. In fact, police have been able to arrest thieves, drug traffickers and other criminals all from the evidence gathered from GPS satellite technology.

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    Can Police Track Your Car Without A Warrant In Arizona

    With advancements in technology, law enforcement has been able to do some pretty amazing things to catch criminals. Facial recognition, drone surveillance, and GPS tracking are some of the most prevalent forms of technology used by police.

    But law enforcement has a duty to use these tools responsibly. All citizens have certain inalienable rights, and those rights cannot be infringed upon during the course of an arrest.

    Warrants are needed for in person arrests, but the laws surrounding warrants and the use of technology are a little fuzzy. So today lets look at just one example, GPS tracking. Can police track your car without a warrant?

    Famisafe Is Reliable At Smartphone

    Police use GPS tracking device

    I bet you would agree with me that there is no other better program that can perfectly and actively serve as a reliable smartphone-based vehicle tracking tool. With its GPS location feature, you can track the location of your car in real-time to know where exactly it is at a particular time.

    • Let’s say. For example, your car is in use by someone else. You can monitor where they have visited with your car. You have the right to know that it is your car, after all.
    • If the car in question is in use by your children old enough to drive, you can set a Geofencing zone for the car so you will get an alert when they go to restricted areas.
    • You can also know when they move past where they actually said they were going so you can burst them easily.

    FamiSafe offers a reliable experience using their program for a 3 days free trial as well to track a car with GPS for free.

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    Wait Couldn’t Airtags Be Used To Track A Stolen Car

    At least one article says that could be a use for AirTags.

    According to an article published by FOX News in Aug. 11, someone in New York used AirTags to find his electric scooter in Brooklyn. New York City Police Department officials confirmed the main details of the account were accurate.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported on from Phoenix.

    Cops Tracked The Man’s Car Because They Suspected He Was Dealing Meth

    by Timothy B. Lee – Nov 18, 2019 9:25 pm UTC

    Back in 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled that it’s illegal for the police to attach a GPS tracking device to someone’s car without a warrant. But what if you find a GPS tracking device on your car? Can you remove it?

    A little more than a year ago, the state of Indiana charged a suspected drug dealer with theft for removing a government-owned GPS tracking device from his SUV. This month, the state’s Supreme Court began considering the case, and some justices seemed skeptical of the government’s argument.

    “I’m really struggling with how is that theft,” said Justice Steven David during recent oral arguments.

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    How To Find A Gps Tracker In Your Car In 5 Steps

    Court allows agents to secretly put GPS trackers on cars

    Jason Unrau

    Vehicle tracking devices are often thought to be used by private investigators as a method of keeping tabs on a persons whereabouts. While that can be the case, vehicle tracking devices are more often used by the general public and companies. For example:

    • Fleet companies to locate company vehicles.
    • Taxi companies for vehicle dispatching.
    • Suspicious spouses to determine their significant others whereabouts.

    Trackers can be purchased online from various sources that sell private investigation equipment or recreational spy equipment. They are also available from some retail stores that specialize in electronics, video surveillance, and GPS equipment. Because tracking devices use GPS or cellular technology to determine location, a subscription or service agreement typically needs to be arranged in order to receive data from the tracking device.

    There are two main types of vehicle tracking devices:

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    Active Versus Passive Tracking

    Several types of vehicle tracking devices exist. Typically they are classified as “passive” and “active”. “Passive” devices store GPS location, speed, heading and sometimes a trigger event such as key on/off, door open/closed. Once the vehicle returns to a predetermined point, the device is removed and the data downloaded to a computer for evaluation. Passive systems include auto download type that transfer data via wireless download. “Active” devices also collect the same information but usually transmit the data in near-real-time via cellular or satellite networks to a computer or data center for evaluation.

    Many modern vehicle tracking devices combine both active and passive tracking abilities: when a cellular network is available and a tracking device is connected it transmits data to a server when a network is not available the device stores data in internal memory and will transmit stored data to the server later when the network becomes available again.

    Common Gps Tracker Hiding Places

    With trackers getting smaller every year and the ability for some of the devices to be mounted anywhere, including a vehicle with just a magnet, its more imperative than ever that you know how to inspect your cars and trucks for the devices. We sell devices that are as small as a car key and while we dont sell these for the purpose of spying, an unethical spyware dealer might, but where should you look?

    1. Diagnostic PortA good place to start is the diagnostic port inside your car. Its usually located to the lower left of the steering wheel. Simply unplug the tracking device from the port. It wont cause any damage to your car to disconnect the device.

    2. The Underside of Your VehicleLook for any suspicious boxes with or without antennas that attach to your car with a magnet or tape. The fuel tank is a common spot for a person to hide a GPS device.

    3. Wheel Wells and BumpersInside the wheel wells and under the front and rear bumpers are also common hiding places for devices. Use your hands to extend your reach. Keep in mind that devices can be attached by adhesives or with magnets.If the device is wired to your car be careful and check your manual before cutting any wires, or have your mechanic remove the device.

    4. RoofIf your vehicle is tall or you have a sunroof, its possible for a stalker to hide a device in plain sight right on top of your car or inside the sunroof retraction slot.

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    Where Are Gps Trackers Installed In Cars

    You can install a GPS tracking device nearly anywhere on a car or fleet vehicle- in the front or rear bumper, wheel wells, under floor mats or seats, or in the glove compartment. However, for fleet tracking purposes, GPS trackers are almost always installed on the dashboard through an on board diagnostics port.

    I Found A Gps A Tracker In My Car

    Police can now shoot a GPS tracking device at cars Canton

    Maybe you just found a strange device in your car, only to realize it was a hidden GPS tracker. Maybe you havent yet found a GPS tracking device, but suspect someone may have hidden one somewhere in your vehicle?

    But where would someone hide a GPS tracking device? The truth is there is a wide range of places where someone can put a hidden GPS for car tracking, many of them depending on whether or not or not the tracker is active or passive.

    So if you have an idea as to who might hide a GPS tracking device on your vehicle, that might give you an idea of where to look. If someone wants regular updates, they might pick a place where they can power the tracker with the vehicle. That means the tracker will need to be wired in, which limits hiding locations. Similarly, if the person tracking you is someone who regularly has access to your vehicle, a good hiding place is somewhere where they can get to the hidden GPS tracker for car tracking more easily.

    When looking for a GPS tracking device, youll generally want a few basic tools such as a flashlight, mirror, and wheeled cart for getting under your vehicle, for instance. A bug sweeper can also sometimes help. In general, youll want to do both an exterior inspection and an interior inspection.

    Keep those principles in mind, and check out the top 10 places where to hide a GPS tracker:

  • Wheel wells. Because the wheel wells are easily accessible, theyre a great place to hide a passive GPS tracking device.
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    There Are Some Exceptions

    This ruling did not hold in the 2018 Arizona case of State vs. Jean. In this case the police decided to place a tracking device on the car a man named Emilio Jean was using, after suspecting him for transporting drugs. The car was borrowed from a friend. The police did not have a warrant. They placed a GPS tracker on the car while Jean was sleeping.

    Using the information from the GPS device, federal agents tracked the progress of Jean and the cars owner, Velez-Colon, for about three days. They became increasingly suspicious that the vehicle was being used to transport illegal drugs. Police officers decided to pull over the vehicle and their drug-detection dog alerted them. This led to the discovery of over 2,000 pounds of marijuana. Velez-Colon received a plea deal and agreed to testify against Jean.

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