iPad thieves beware: A first-hand account of how GPS trackers make catching the bad guys easier

The following is a guest post by Zachary Schwartz, a project manager with Fieldgate Construction Management. Zachary’s car was broken into on Monday morning and his iPad was stolen. This is an exciting and interesting first hand account of how new tracking technology that many new electronics are equipped with can enable people to recover stolen goods and allow police to catch the bad guys. 

Yesterday I arrived on-site at 5:45am to supervise the final install on the Fraco lift [a lifting platform used to elevate workers]. I parked on Grange St. behind the site. I returned to my car at 7:30 to find that it had been broken into. My briefcase containing my iPad, keyboard and other electronics had been stolen. I reported the the incident to the police by phone and returned home to sulk for my loss and $500 worth of car damage.

Then I remembered that I have the capability to track the location of my iPad by GPS. I pulled it up on my computer and was able to pinpoint the location to a building north of Dundas off of Beverley. I decided it was not the day to be ripped off. I went back downtown to do a drive-by of the suspected building. I spotted a couple suspicious people. I decided confrontation was not appropriate, so I found a police car and explained the situation to them.

I was brought into the police station to speak with the undercover major crimes division, where I showed them on my iPhone how I could accurately pinpoint the location of my iPad. With the proof of location on hand, they quickly assembled a team of undercover officers in 2 vehicles and a squad car. I was placed in the unmarked command van for the sting operation that was to ensue.

From the command vehicle I was put in charge of communicating the location to the other members of the team while we tracked the suspect. He was on the move.

We followed him from Dundas to Kensington then back up to St. Andrew. At that moment I was able to recognize one of the suspicious people I saw earlier in the day when I went on my own mission. I quickly relayed the info to the officers and he was quickly surrounded and searched. All of this happened as I was observing from the tracking van. They found my iPad and the miscellaneous electronics on his person. They also found over $4000 in cash. The story doesn’t end there…

Now that I made the connection from my earlier mission we set out to find the other suspect I spotted after telling the officers of my mission. We set out to drive the alleys of the area and after 45 minutes I spotted the other suspicious person.

The hero of the day himself, Zachary Schwartz.

Takedown. A known car thief from the area. Unfortunately, there was nothing on his person to allow an arrest, however, his accomplice was charged. All this before 11:30 am.

At the end of the day I got my iPad back, but lost my briefcase and all the documents contained within it and my car was damaged. The cops were amazed. I gave a video statement and was sent home. I made the city safer on Saturday.

Oh, and the Fraco was installed and is operational.

Crime doesn’t pay when Zak is on the case.

Thanks for sharing your experience Zachary!