Home Alarm Technology Watch – Vehicle Tracking Busts Burglar

Posted by , , at 11:58 am

At a time when economic and other forces are causing residential crime to increase in some areas, budgetary constraints are making it tougher for law enforcement to meet the growing demand for protection. One answer: advanced technology applied to deterring and solving burglaries. I’ve posted on several of these applications, including the use of Facebook to circulate perp photos captured by home video, and even license plate recognition systems placed to identify and locate thieves’ cars. Now from Seattle comes a report of a vehicle tracking device being placed on the truck of suspected burglar – and it worked.

A repeat burglar was sentenced Friday to more than five years in prison for smash-and-grab thefts last year in Burien and West Seattle. Stephen H. Kirk pleaded guilty in March to eight counts of second-degree burglary and one count of attempted second-degree burglary.

Linking Multiple Burglaries

Last summer, King County (WA) Sheriff’s deputies were investigating more than a dozen smash-and-grab burglaries in Burien. Most cases involved a rock or similar object being thrown through a window and the burglar grabbing for cash. Seattle police also were investigating several similar West Seattle burglaries.

Tip to Police Helps

A man pulled over in a traffic stop allegedly told police a man named Steve who drives a red pickup truck emblazoned with an East Pierce County Fire Department logo burglarized Angelica’s Decorations. State Department of Licensing records cited in court documents show that Kirk registered a red truck previously owned by Pierce County Fire District 17.

Police further tied Kirk to specific crimes where the red truck was identified on video footage. The plot thickened.

Springing the Trap

Investigators obtained a search warrant, and police placed a tracking device on Kirk’s red truck. The following day, the Pizza Source in the 12000 block of Des Moines Memorial Drive was burglarized after someone broke out the front window. “The tracking device located Kirk’s truck within one block of the burglarized building,” Sheriff’s Detective Ignacio Yanez wrote in a probable cause document. “The truck remained at the location for twenty-minutes.” On Aug. 8, a business on California Avenue Southwest was burglarized. The tracking device located Kirk’s truck around the corner, Yanez wrote.

As we’ve stated many times, the best deterrent to residential (or commercial) crime is a monitored alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring and smarter interactive features. FrontPoint specializes in these systems: as the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, that’s our commitment. While we’re best known for protecting homes, we also provide peace of mind to a growing number of business owners across the country. We can provide the same or better level of protection, usually at a fraction of the cost the big companies charge. Safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat – that’s FrontPoint.

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