GPS Devices Can Lead Burglars To Your Home

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Many people rely on their GPS devices to get to and from their desitinations, but leaving them visibly displayed in your car could be a bait for thieves.

"The first thing you want to do is lock you car. Then turn off the devices at night because they have a glow at night and bad guys cruise around at night, and will see something they like," Officer John Kerrigan of Midland Police Department, said.

Officer Kerrigan says those devices hold more value than you think, especially since it has your home address programed into it. Thieves can then use the address programmed in the device and burglarize your home when they know you're not there.

"Often times they'll know where you live. If it's possible to disconnect it, do it, otherwise keep them in your trunk," Kerrigan said.

Law enforcement officials say often times burglars try to pawn the GPS devices, but luckily some pawn shops in the area work with the police department to track down stolen items.

"We look at items and make sure identification matches their driver's license. If there's a serial number that doesn't match we don't take it. MPD red flags any reported stolen items so any transactions we make, they get a copy of," Denise Urias of Courtesy Pawn said.

Urias says it's possible to retrieve your stolen items if proper information is saved.

"Keep reciepts, serial numbers, and any other proof. That way if it ends up at a pawn shop you can get it back," Urias said.

As for getting your car broken into, Officer Kerrigan says preventing it is as simple as locking your doors, which is something that many drivers fail to do.

"A lot of people think it's old school Midland and safe, but you just can't do that anymore," Kerrigan said.

More advice from Officer Kerrigan is to have your driver's license number somewhere on your valuable electronics, that way if officers do recover it they can get it back to you.