Clever Realtor Uses GPS Tracking to Investigate Missing Signs

12 Dec 2013

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Realtor gets smart with GPS tracking and finds surprising evidence of theft of his missing “Home for Sale” signs.

For one realtor in Brighton, CO, advanced technology has helped him determine exactly why his signs were disappearing. Greg Portlock, a local real estate agent in the Brighton area, began putting out his realtor signs every Friday and leaving them in the South 50th and Bridge area throughout the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, Portlock would return to these homes and pick up his signs. Except every time he attempted to retrieve them, they would be missing.

By this point, Portlock honestly had no idea what was happening to his signs and why they were disappearing. It was obvious someone was taking them down, but he hadn’t the slightest idea who would want his RE/MAX signs.

He told reporters, “We were always scratching our heads trying to figure out where these things were going.”

His first actionwas to set up a hidden video camera in order to try and catch the culprit. It turned out to be successful, to his irritation. One night, he noticed a car drive by a house with an RE/MAX sign, and when the vehicle would drive away, the sign would be gone. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough identification from the view of the vehicle to figure out who stole the signs.

Portlock made the wise decision to take it a step further and pick up a GPS tracking device to place in one of the signs. He got a small GPS tracking device and inserted it into one of the realty signs in this area, waiting for the alert.

With GPS trackers of this variety, they are set up to send a text message to a mobile device when the object moves. One night at around 9pm, Portlock go the ping on his phone, which meant the sign had moved. Using his phone, he was able to watch where the GPS tracking device traced the sign to. The location was none other than the garage of one of his competitors.

After identifying the sign thief, Portlock notified local authorities, who reached the man’s garage to find the clear evidence. According to Portlock, this man must have stolen at least 100 of his signs in the last few months.

As of now, the case against his competitor is open, with charges still pending. Local police have not released information about the charges and Portlock refuses to release his competitor’s name. Since no charges have been filed as of now, the suspect’s name is not being released. However, the suspect did inform 9News in Brighton that he believed the signs to be improperly placed, therefore did not do anything wrong.

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