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Security Tip: Stolen GPS leads burglars back to empty homes

A recent police recovery of a stolen car in Medina WA, has enabled a glimpse into a new criminal tactic.  It appears that technologically-tuned thieves have found ways to use the in-vehicle technology to commit further crimes.

Once a car is broken into, such in-vehicle devices as GPS navigation systems enable the criminals to the owner’s residence.  Most GPS devices can be programmed to remember the owner’s “home” location, and provide direction to the premises.  While this may be a great convenience to device owners, it can be ill-used in case of a car break-in.

The thieves can then go to the owner’s home, and enter the home easily with the garage door opener in the vehicle.

The simplicity of this tactic can be alarming, but several steps can be taken to prevent it from happening in your car/home.
1. Do Not keep your GPS device in the vehicle. Simply carry it with you as you do your cell phone.
2. Alternately, do not save your home address in the device under the title “home”.  Find another nickname for “where the heart is”.  It can aid in confusing the burglars and maybe even put a smile on your face every time you head there.
3. In case your car has been broken into, and your GPS device is in the vehicle, make sure you rememebr the potential threat not only to the lost vehicle, but also your residence, and take precautionary steps to prevent further loss.

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