Suspected Bank Robber Nabbed in Under 30 Minutes Thanks to GPS Tracking Device

19 Jul 2012

In less than 30 minutes, a GPS tracking device led to the abduction of a 29-year-old Aurora, Illinois man accused of heisting over $7,000 during a bank robbery over the weekend, authorities report. Law enforcement used a GPS tracker device hidden in the stolen cash to trace the suspect to a nearby gas station, where the man was arrested.

The man — Miguel A. Ramirez — was accused of robbing a PNC Bank local branch at 77 S. Broadway. Ramizez entered the bag in the morning and provided the teller with a withdrawal slip with the word “all the money”. He also pulled out a weapon, which authorities later found out was a BB gun. The teller wasn’t able to understand what was written on the withdrawal form, so Ramirez whispered the words “Give me all your money”.

The teller complied with the request and put $7,026 into the bag Ramirez had with him. Included with the “bait money” was a GPS tracking device. A bank surveillance video captured images of the bank robbery, including the clothes Ramirez was wearing during the heist. The GPS tracker device led police to an Ford Bronco, which was unoccupied, parked at a Oswego gas station, where they found the clothing Ramirez was wearing during the heist.

This week, a U.S. magistrate judge ordered Ramirez held on a one count of bank robbery charge in a criminal complaint.

Every year, hundreds of financial institutions are being separated from their money, as criminals — often armed and dangerous — make off with their precious cargo. In many cases, these criminal acts are not a high-tech, elaborate operation, but rather a straightforward, stickup, grab the bag of cash, and head off move. However, thanks to GPS tracking devices, many bank robbers participating in the latter heist are finding they are caught red-handed, and ensuing the repercussions of their illegal actions.

Ramirez’s case isn’t the first time law enforcement has used a GPS tracking device to nab a bank robber. From Boston to Philly to Chicago, robbers throughout the country are being caught with their hand in the cookie jar, with the help of global position system satellites and modern technology.

In April, we reported about this trend of using GPS tracking devices to catch bank robbers on our blog. While there aren’t many details about how the GPS tracking device isn’t being discovered by the bank robber, theories exist that the device can be disguised to look like the money the robber is attempting to make off with.

Bankers Online reports that an estimated 75 percent of bank robbers end up being caught.

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