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Prosecutors: Man who robbed Radio Shack tracked down using GPS he stole
Chicago Tribune ^ | April 8, 2012 | Dan Hinkel

Posted on 04/08/2012 7:06:52 PM PDT by ConservativeStatement

A Chicago man robbed a Radio Shack of $17,000 in merchandise, but police tracked him down quickly thanks to the global positioning equipment he stole, prosecutors said.

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: fourthamendment; gps; gpstracking; radioshack; warrantlesssearch
Otherwise an intelligent being, just unlucky that day.
1 posted on 04/08/2012 7:07:01 PM PDT by ConservativeStatement
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To: ConservativeStatement

You can’t fix stupid. Especially in Chicago.


2 posted on 04/08/2012 7:08:46 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (The libs don't want to save da planit. If they did, they'd boycott BIG oil and petroleum products.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Revenge of the Nerds!!!


3 posted on 04/08/2012 7:11:23 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Steyn: Obama sez: "Nice little Supreme Court you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it.")
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To: ConservativeStatement

Hehehe.


4 posted on 04/08/2012 7:17:38 PM PDT by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini--nevertheless, Vote Santorum!)
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To: ConservativeStatement

What does RS have that one can carry off $17K of? $1700 I can see.


5 posted on 04/08/2012 7:19:04 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: ConservativeStatement; a fool in paradise

Pretty soon you won’t be able to shoplift an ordinary #2 pencil, ‘coz it’ll have GPS chip in it, or else you and what you legitimately carry will be tracked by your cellphone.


6 posted on 04/08/2012 7:19:38 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Revolting cat!

Shoplift from Best Buy. Their new policy is just let you run away with it..


7 posted on 04/08/2012 7:24:03 PM PDT by max americana
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To: ConservativeStatement
Technology can be a bitch. hahahahaha

Seriously though, all this tracking ability is kinda scary.

8 posted on 04/08/2012 7:24:51 PM PDT by builder (I don't want a piece of someone else's pie)
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To: ConservativeStatement

He looks like he could be Obama’s son..


9 posted on 04/08/2012 7:25:44 PM PDT by cardinal4 (Do I really need a /s tag?)
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To: ConservativeStatement

GPS is receiver not transceiver. So how did they track him?


10 posted on 04/08/2012 7:28:09 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Paladin2

GPS units, radios, laptops


11 posted on 04/08/2012 7:34:10 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Vendome
That was my question.

/johnny

12 posted on 04/08/2012 7:34:47 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Paladin2
I checked their website. Start with a few laptops is my guess. Maybe video systems and other devices? Perhaps RS has the ultimate AA battery? /sarc.
13 posted on 04/08/2012 7:40:36 PM PDT by ConservativeStatement (Obama "acted stupidly.")
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To: Vendome
GPS is receiver not transceiver. So how did they track him?

I'm a real amateur when it comes to technology but my cell phone,for example,is capable of broadcasting its location using GPS technology.I've also read that there are other devices that can do the same thing.Perhaps that's what got him.

14 posted on 04/08/2012 7:48:17 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Jimmy Carter Is No Longer The Worst President To Have Served In My Lifetime.)
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To: Sacajaweau

Sounds to me like a pile of stash worth $17k would make it hard to see the door.


15 posted on 04/08/2012 7:54:17 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Vendome
thank you...
16 posted on 04/08/2012 8:00:53 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Paladin2

Probably pulled the truck right up to the door and just tossed it in.


17 posted on 04/08/2012 8:29:48 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Sacajaweau

LOL, that would cover my question about how he could run down the street juggling the stack. I was thinking he could become an act on the Ed Sullivan Show.


18 posted on 04/08/2012 8:32:37 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Vendome; JRandomFreeper
GPS is receiver not transceiver. So how did they track him?

The perp also took their cell phones.


"Jefferson, of the 6700 block of South Evans Avenue, threatened the victims with a handgun, bound their hands with plastic ties and took their cell phones before stealing other electronics equipment...."


Viola.

19 posted on 04/08/2012 9:05:50 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel
That would do it. Xmit on the slightly sub-gigahertz band instead of 1.5 where GPS lives.

But I'm just a cook, what do I know?

/johnny

20 posted on 04/08/2012 9:08:05 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: ConservativeStatement

And he managed to do all this before the age of 21.

In before Grandma says he was such a good boy, and Mama says he was studying to be a heart transplant doctor.


21 posted on 04/08/2012 9:12:43 PM PDT by exit82 (Democrats are the enemies of freedom. Be Andrew Breitbart.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

This story stinks.

GPS receivers do not send out any signal. Who would they be sending to?

It’s more likely that there was a GPS locator button on some of the merchandise, sort of like the ones on the top of buses and police cars.


22 posted on 04/08/2012 9:13:07 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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To: Gay State Conservative

>> “I’m a real amateur when it comes to technology but my cell phone,for example,is capable of broadcasting its location using GPS technology” <<

.
Not quite.

Your cell phone collects data to determine its position from GPS satelites, and then sends the data on the normal cell frequencies. GPS is not a two way communication system. Its a global code phase measurement system.


23 posted on 04/08/2012 9:18:13 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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To: ConservativeStatement

It sounds as if the correct title should have said. Radio Shack burglarized not robbed. So he probably broke in during the night and made off with a truckload of stuff.


24 posted on 04/08/2012 9:18:45 PM PDT by cquiggy
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To: exit82

>> “and Mama says he was studying to be a heart transplant doctor.” <<

.
Brain surgeon. Bats and clubs do marvelous brain surgery.
.


25 posted on 04/08/2012 9:20:33 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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To: Red Steel

LOL

What a maroon!

Take the frickin battry out of a cell phone when house don’t want to be found.


26 posted on 04/08/2012 9:20:40 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: ConservativeStatement
Otherwise an intelligent being

Ax John Derbyshire 'bout dat.

27 posted on 04/08/2012 9:26:33 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cquiggy
Radio Shack burglarized not robbed.

Not according to the article. It says he bound the people at the store with cable ties and stole their cellphones along with other merchandise. That's robbery, not burglary.

It's likely the cellphones were his downfall, not the other merchandise, since any GPS gear in the stolen merchandise would not have been properly activated for tracking (unless maybe he stole display items).

28 posted on 04/08/2012 9:32:53 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Vendome

“GPS is receiver not transceiver. So how did they track him?”

Actually I believe it is. I believe that it needs to be able to send a signal to the satellites in order for the whole system to figure out where you are.


29 posted on 04/08/2012 9:42:05 PM PDT by Revel
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To: Vendome

Nevermind. I guess that was wrong.


30 posted on 04/08/2012 9:49:32 PM PDT by Revel
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To: Revel
GPS is fully passive. It operates by generating a CDMA PN sequence and adding it to signal below the noise level. It takes a fair amount of time for first fix as the bit pattern must be shifted repeatedly to make the signal copyable. Once achieved, a 50 characters per second stream is picked up with the initial almanac. That first acquisition plus a time stamp allows the received to guess the other PN sequences that should be visible. The time referenced is locked to the first satellite, then at least two more must be picked up. A precise time delay between the satellite and the receiver is then measureable. The "ephemeris" data is downloaded with fine corrections in satellite orbital details. With the orbital details in hand, time synchronization and time offsets to 3 or more satellites, a position is space can be calculated. That data is then correlated with an onboard map t produce something usable to the human operator.

Future fixes happen more quickly with the almanac, rough current location and current time already on board, the receiver knows exactly which "birds" should be visible. It often has 12 concurrent receivers on board. Each one is handed a PN sequence matching a desired satellite. The lockup can be as quick as 15 seconds on a "warm start".

Cell phone get a time stamp off the tower. You get that running start of general location and time. Some can even pass the almanac from the tower. CDMA phones have AGPS. They can leverage the known GPS coordinates of a tower to get a jump start on the positioning calculations or even ask for them to be done as "a service" using precise time offsets to the phone.

Back to the original point. GPS can be done purely passively. No transmissions required. If you have a cell phone, you can leverage the connectivity to save the lag time of the typical GPS cold start. GSM phones can perform a high resolution "ping" using 3 towers to get a pretty decent fix on your with the time offsets. Much of this technology exists per the E911 mandate. It is required to locate any cell phone within 100 meters to support law enforcement 911 services.

Stealing the cell phone was the criminal's mistake.

31 posted on 04/08/2012 10:00:26 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Revel
Actually I believe it is. I believe that it needs to be able to send a signal to the satellites in order for the whole system to figure out where you are.

That would be a monumental scalability problem. Given the rapid expansion of GPS usage, you'd basically have to launch Google into orbit, if the system required client-server interaction with the satellites.

GPS is way cooler than that. GPS is receive-only. It listens to the satellites as they transmit exact times and positions, and it calculates its position by correlating the readings from a minimum of four satellites. Four equations in four unknowns: latitude, longitude, elevation, and time. Actually, it could do with only three satellites, but the fourth is necessary if the GPS receiver lacks its own synchronized, miniaturized, dirt-cheap atomic clock (LOL) — it needs to work out its own time to the nanosecond in order for the concept to work. Additional satellites beyond the minimum of four add to accuracy.

32 posted on 04/08/2012 10:04:22 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Vendome
GPS is receiver not transceiver. So how did they track him?

All radio receivers put out a signal, via the first IF. Perhaps they used that to track him. The WWII Germans used the first IF of radio receivers to track people listening to illegal(by German laws)radio broadcasts from the BBC. Remember you can be tracked via your cell phone even when it is turned off, as long as you have the battery in it. You have to remove the battery if you don't wish to be tracked.

33 posted on 04/08/2012 10:26:08 PM PDT by calex59
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To: Myrddin
Speaking of stupid crooks, I got a pair of cell phones for me and mom. She used hers for emergencies. One day, I dropped by the house and asked where the cell phone was (it wasn't on her charger). She hadn't seen it. As luck would have it, the house cleaning lady was also there and she hadn't seen it either — after the carpets had been cleaned.

Bingo! I called Verizon and asked if there was any unusual traffic on her number and they confirmed it. I explained that the cell phone had gone missing and I suspected it had been stolen. They gave me a list of the recently called numbers. I started working my way down the list.

The fist several were time and temp calls. I got a couple of businesses and at least one confirmed they'd gotten a call about a carpet cleaning appointment. The next was a private residence, After I explained why I was calling, the woman said, “Not this again.”

It turns out her brother-in-law worked for a carpet cleaning company and she gave me the BIL’s name. I called the company and explained the situation to the boss. He was aghast and I told him I'd keep him informed. The next phone number got the employee's home answering machine, so I left a callback number. Then I called the sheriff's office and filed a complaint.

Several hours later I got a call from the BIL. He confirmed that he had the phone, but he maintained that his partner had taken it. I explained that the stupidest thing he'd done was to use the phone because every call he'd made was logged with the time and length of call. Caught, the BIL tried to weasel out. I told him that he'd be visited by the sheriff's office because I'd filed a complaint. I told him that the best thing to do was to turn-in the phone to his boss and he agreed. It was done, I got the phone back, and the BIL was fired.

As part of his plea bargain to avoid jail time, the perp repaid me for the calls made plus my time and effort tracking him down. It took two years but the settlement was the ultimate satisfaction.

34 posted on 04/08/2012 10:33:40 PM PDT by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: MasterGunner01
That's quite an effort to track down the crook. My son maintains insurance on his phone. His just reports it "lost or stolen". Verizon zots the phone. It can never be used again. He gets a new phone as a replacement. Usually the same day.

I had a credit card stolen from my office. I didn't know it was stolen until two days after the fact. I was already out of town and noticed the missing card. I informed my wife immediately. Hours later, she said my card was recovered in the bushes next to a janitorial business a few miles away. I recalled a goofy call to the front desk the day before I left. I looked at the time stamps of charges to the card. They traced a path from my office through several businesses and ended up in the North Park area of San Diego. I suspected the janitor. I asked security his name. I went to the phone book. He lives on Florida St in North Park. Gotcha! I turned over my detective work to the police department and company security. They set a "trap" and caught him red handed on video stealing a card.

Months passed. This janitor was a 6 ft 2" tall, 220 lb heavily muscled black man. He constantly told tales about his sick girl friend. When I shared that with the detective, he laughed his ass off. Girlfriend? Hell no. All the pretty stuff he bought at the department stores nearby was to dress up for his boyfriend. Ewww!. The guy stole $40,000 total from all the employees on my floor. He was let off with a hand slap. A poor, misunderstood black man. It took me weeks to get all the bad charges on my card resolved.

35 posted on 04/08/2012 11:33:44 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: calex59; Myrddin
Remember you can be tracked via your cell phone even when it is turned off, as long as you have the battery in it. You have to remove the battery if you don't wish to be tracked.

From my experience with cellphones, I have always been skeptical of this claim, tending to treat it as an urban legend. It implies, of course, that when you turn your phone "off" it's not really turning OFF.

Now, there are certainly appliances with "offs" that are not totally OFF, such as remote controlled TV sets, etc. Another example is my Kindle, which when "off" still runs down the battery using its wireless links to get updates on my digital subscriptions.

But I have not seen any evidence that any cellphone, smart or otherwise, works this way. Admittedly, my personal experience is scarce; I haven't turned any of my cellphones of the last 20 years "off" for a long enough time to see if the battery drains at greater then its self-discharge rate, indicating surreptitious activity.

Anyone have links to definitive info on this? Myrddin? Bueller?

36 posted on 04/09/2012 12:36:25 AM PDT by Erasmus (BHO: New supreme leader of the homey rollin' empire.)
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To: calex59
The superheterodyne receiver was perfected by Edwin Armstrong, later to be the inventor wideband FM.

The receiver contains a local oscillator (LO) whose job it is to translate the incoming RF channel to a fixed intermediate frequency (IF) using a device called a mixer. The mixer combines the incoming RF channel with the LO so that the mixer's output is at the intermediate frequency; this is fed to a series of gain stages all fixed-tuned to the IF.

To tune the radio to a given channel, you just vary the LO so that it funnels the right RF channel into the IF section.

The rationale for the superhet architecture is that fixed-tuned gain stages are much, much easier to design than variable-tuned ones.

The most likely radiated energy from a receiver is the LO, which reveals only that the receiver is operating; and, assuming you pick it up and also assume that the receiver uses a commonly selected IF, you can deduce what channel is being received.

The next most likely radiated energy would be the IF signal itself, which does carry the information being received.

However these are both weak signals, effectively undetectable more than a few feet or tens of feet from the receiver in a cellphone.

Considering also how many cellphones would be operating (most of them in standby), it would be like searching for a needle in a haystack.

It is true that there used to be TV rating services that would drive a truck with a sensitive LO receiver and a side-firing directional antenna. It would sweep past the houses and could record which channel each home was tuned to.

37 posted on 04/09/2012 1:06:12 AM PDT by Erasmus (BHO: New supreme leader of the homey rollin' empire.)
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To: calex59

By they way, cal, I suspect my pedantic explanation is old news to you; I just wanted to get it on this thread by way of general explanation for the less geeky. If, that is, any of them can stand to read it.


38 posted on 04/09/2012 1:13:16 AM PDT by Erasmus (BHO: New supreme leader of the homey rollin' empire.)
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To: Paladin2

Ed Sullivan....My 45,47 & 49 year old kids don’t know who Ed Sullivan is. They don’t know who Topo Gigio is either. Sa right.


39 posted on 04/09/2012 3:31:27 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: calex59
He was tracked using the cellphones he stole, which are are designed to do that. I am not aware of any exploits of tracking radio receivers using LO leakage during World War II. The BBC used to have trucks that roamed the countryside looking for unlicensed telly receivers, but they were looking for the CRT scanning signal, which is 31.5 kHz in NTSC (US/Japan, mainly) old style TV receivers. (PAL was similiar.) They converted some of these trucks with loop antennas protruding to search for LO leakage from Soviet agents shortwave receivers during the Cold War. LO leakage from poorly designed automotive radar detectors can trip detectors in nearby cars, effectively jamming them. In case there isn't an automatic door opener around.

The German Funksicherheitsbedienung was very effective at tracking down covert transmitters. Their motto was Funksendung is Verrat, "Transmission is treason". They tried to impress that on the German Army, with their Enigma machines, but with little success.

40 posted on 04/09/2012 4:10:51 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Queeg Olbermann: Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them.)
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To: cynwoody

A fourth constraint can be supplied if you know your elevation above the Geoid. (Each equation supplying satellite location and time delay is a constraint.) I don’t know if you are familiar with Bankcroft’s method, but it is easily adaptable to knowledge of your distance from the center of the Geiod (earth), or have exact knowledge of time GPS time.

BTY, the more satellites (or other constraints, e.g., altimeter data) you have, the more accurate you estimate of position.


41 posted on 04/09/2012 4:20:53 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Queeg Olbermann: Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them.)
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To: cynwoody

Why does the movie “Predator” come to mind?


42 posted on 04/09/2012 6:29:57 AM PDT by jimmyo57
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