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Why GPS can't solve crimes

By David Kaplan, dkaplan@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jun 24 2013 03:39:39 PM EDT
Crime scene

MGN Online

ROANOKE, Va. -

Technology can make life for a police officer both easier and harder.

Easier because it helps them solve cases, but tougher, because it can mean people are stealing high-tech gadgets worth hundreds.

We heard from someone in our newsroom whose iPhone was stolen in downtown Roanoke last Saturday.

These days, many phones are equipped with GPS tracking allowing you to pinpoint a location of the phone.

Our question was, if police have an address where a stolen item is located, can they just go get it?

"A lot of times we are able to get that property back, sometimes when you go to a larger apartment complex or the mall, it's a little bit harder to pinpoint with stuff like that. It's not quite enough to get an arrest warrant yet because there's multiple people in a house but it's the first step in the investigation though, and it definitely helps," said Sergeant Jamey Bowdel.

Police say everything goes on a case-by-case basis when they do their investigations.  Roanoke Police say they do everything in their power to solve these cases, and GPS is a new tool they have, but it's not fullproof.

Police say there are a ton of other factors they have to consider as evidence, not just GPS.