GPS Tracking Technology Nabs Shoplifter

23 Apr 2018

With the help of anti-theft technology, the Pasco Police Department was successful in capturing three women suspected of shoplifting.

Two of the three women were caught on video taking clothing from a Tampa Premium Outlet, but they were unaware that one item they stole contained a special GPS tracker inside.

The suspects were using a specially modified bag that was created to shield electronic security tags from sensors, but they had no idea that a different technological device would lead police right to them.

Police were able to track down the three suspects thanks to GPS tracking. As soon as the tracking device left the store’s designated area, an alert notified the store’s managers about the movement. They immediately alerted authorities who were able to utilize the device’s data to track down the suspects.

Authorities were able to pinpoint the location of the merchandise only 14 miles away from the site of the crime. When police arrived at the location, they found the three women. Incredibly, the police were able to head off the suspect within 15 minutes of them leaving the store. The entire arrest was fully recorded on the deputy’s body camera.

Toccara Marlesha, Sharhonda LaShawn Pedroso and Ayanna Michelle Palacio were all arrested for shoplifting. Investigators found around $1500 worth of clothing including other items from other stores around Tampa Bay. Specific items from Pacific Sunwear and Hollister were located, but it’s unclear whether these items were stolen or not. According to reports, all of the suspects already had felony arrest warrants for shoplifting. The three women were utilizing a rental car from Advantage Rentals as the getaway vehicle.

Authorities reported that this is the first time they’ve caught a suspect via a GPS tracking device. Sgt. Richard Jones explained to news reporters that GPS trackers could be used on a widespread level as a deterrent for this type of crime. He noted that this type of security is not very noticeable because the trackers are so tiny, so criminals can’t be sure whether the merchandise they steal has a GPS device or not.

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