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Hamilton Police Nab Car Jacker Using Owners BlackBerry GPS?!?

By Bla1ze on 5 Mar 2010 09:22 am EST
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Hamilton Police Nab Car Jacker Using BlackBerry GPS

A rather interesting story coming from the Hamilton Spector today. According to the article written, police in Hamilton were able nab a car jacker using what appears to be the built in GPS in the victim's BlackBerry. From the article:

Hamilton police said the wild events began as the woman was about to drive away from a drugstore at Mohawk Road East and Upper Wellington Street at about 9 p.m. A man she didn't know jumped into the passenger's seat and ordered her to drive him home.

When she said no, he told her he had a gun. Fearing for her life, she agreed to drive him where he wanted to go. She drove the man to Queenston Road near Kenora Avenue, where the man ordered her to stop. The bandit let her out and roared away with her car, her iPod, her identification and her BlackBerry.

In the end, Hamilton police had the car jacker turned failure at life boxed in and surrounded. Staff Sergeant Gary Thompson stated the built in GPS allowed for Police to narrow the search in order to find out the area where the vehicle was. While the Hamilton police are not saying exactly how GPS was used, we do know police enforcement agencies can ask carriers to participate in investigations and the limitations of such use of GPS are still kinda sketchy. But that folks, is some CSI action right there.

Reader comments

Hamilton Police Nab Car Jacker Using Owners BlackBerry GPS?!?

40 Comments

That's actually kind of funny, I was on Mohawk between Sherman and Wellington last night. Thought I heard sirens.

..is not a good thing. I'd love to find out if they just remotely brought up a map of where he was (very, very bad) or if there is more to it (perhaps she left latitude running?).

I bet you'd think it was great if you were the victim who feared her life was about to be taken by some low-life punk. She got her car, iPod and BlackBerry back and the jerk went to jail. How is this bad?

In this case it was used for good, however I would love to know what checks and balances are in place to prevent this "capability" from being abused by law enforcement.

People always have to turn the good around. Who cares if they abuse, you won't find out...she's safe he's away, get a grip please.

People always have to turn the good around. Who cares if they abuse, you won't find out...she's safe he's away, get a grip please.

If you're not doing anything WRONG, what are you worried about? You pushin' some ki's or something?

My point exactly, you shouldn't have to worry about this being illegally used if you're not doung anything illegal.

hey that is hamilton for u lol i love here :) its not a bad lil town but ya we have stuff like that everyday or ppl lighting cars on fire and more so

I was robbed at gun point and they took my phone. There is two things that have to happen in order for the police to use the GPS feature. One you have to call the carrier of the phone and give them written and verbal permission to access this feature. Then the person who took the phone has to have it on. If these two thing don't happen then you cannot access the GPS on the phone.

A municipal police sergeant here in Texas....we only use GPS for situations like this, or to locate someone calling for help that doesn't know where they are. The phone companies will only release this information for a legitimate law enforcement purpose and it is usually in an emergency.

Good police work guys!

Some of these "Big Brother is out to get me" guys are too funny. The government is way too busy spending my money to care about you

U guys should be grateful it didn't happen to u. And if that happens to my mom or any female of my family. I'll the first in line to fine that low life... But in the end yeah... Pull out the battery better do that if ur into those things cuz Big Bro is gonna get u hahahahahaahaha

Maybe the robbed person had their Google Maps app on and police used the Google Latitude data to track down the robber.

They could have easily used SmrtGuard or e-GPS as well and told the cops where there phone was as well.

I run both on mine in case it is ever lost or stollen.

now thats very scary, not the car jacking but hot the police or anybody with the "Goverment" and track ur every move.....

now thats very scary, not the car jacking but how the police or anybody with the "Goverment" and track ur every move.....

>>Too bad carriers can't do it for lost or stolen phones.

Too bad carriers WON'T do it for lost or stolen phones.
-fixed.

Their excuse is privacy concerns. When the police come calling, they say 'yessir, how high sir'.

Also, GPS, SCHMPS.

All they needed to do was triangulate the phone's IMEI on the cell towers. There's nothing GPS about that. In a city like Hamilton, I'm sure that gave them about a 4-6 block radius to search. Which is easy with even 3 or 4 cruisers.

Also, if you think it's SCARY that the government can track your every move, maybe you should stop carrying a cellphone.. sell your car, house, cut up your credit cards and go live in a cave in northern Saskatchewan.

Get over it. Everything you buy, own and use is tracked SOMEHOW by SOMEONE. It's just that 99.999% of the time it's done purely for accounting and advertising, not to spy on you. And there's little to no coordination between the tens of thousands of providers of that info. That's why the GUBBAMINT wanted all those giant databases and tracking systems after 9/11 - to coordinate all those individually-useless bits of info together into a single pattern.

Owner gives permission.
Police get a court order.
Your a terrorist. Under the patriot act police don't need anything

Owner gives permission.
Police get a court order.
Your a terrorist. Under the patriot act police don't need anything

Very interesting use of GPS. I'd gladly let the police track my phone if it meant getting my car and belongings back.

To further what the Sarge above said, it's called pinging a cell phone. It's triangulation from cell towers that gives a gps coordinate. The PD works with the phone company to make it happen. If you don't trust the government, don't trust the phone companies either. They have the technology to make it happen.

They prob just used triangulation from the cell sites.. it's easily done and in life and death situations in the UK carriers do the same... it gives an approx location to within a few feet.