This is a true story about how two Android phones, a service called Google latitude, and the CHP saved the day.
So here is the skinny - can't go into too many details yet…
- My wife and I were on our way to Lake Tahoe over the memorial day break. About 300+ miles into our trip, we decided to take a break at a rest stop. We took a little walk to stretch and were making our way back to our car…
- …when we saw someone on the other side of the vehicle doing something that looked like he was *in* our vehicle.
- On walking closer the man walked quickly to another car waiting behind hours (another person was at the wheel) and sped away
- Discovered to our horror that the window of our vehicle was smashed in and a lot of our stuff was gone.
- Stolen stuff: two laptops, two digital cameras (one of them very expensive), one Droid Eris, my Zune HD, my wife's wallet, her credit cards, ID, cash, two backpacks, and some other stuff
- Called 911 immediately and gave the dispatcher a description of the car and occupants
- While waiting for the CHP to arrive, I remembered that I had enabled Google latitude on both our phones and that tracking was 'on'.
- I was able to use my phone (HTC Incredible) to track exactly where my wife's phone was (it was headed down I-5 S)
- Provided this information to the officer who arrived. Officer radioed ahead
- Suspects apprehended based on information provided ALL ITEMS RECOVERED
- Suspects had also robbed other victims so there was lots of loot. They also had prior criminal records and were on probation.
- Went back to the county police station, went through paperwork and formalities.
- Officers made repeated mention of how we assisted with the capture and were wise to use technology.
I think that the following helped immensely:
- Our ability to provide an accurate description of the car and suspects
- Android + Google latitude
- The very very awesome CHP
- The fact that the suspects did not turn off my wife's phone after they stole it, so it kept transmitting its location to Google Latitude constantly.
- The fact that Verizon had 3G signal in the middle of nowhere