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Everything You Need to Know About GPS and Stealing

Everything You Need to Know About GPS and Stealing

You might invest in GPS-enabled technology to prevent criminals from stealing a vehicle, expensive equipment, or other valuables. But what happens when someone steals the GPS unit connected to those assets? 

There were 31,000 reports of GPS-related thefts in 2008, according to the most recent FBI statistics. More than 14 years later, with GPS technology even more popular than it was back then, this number must be significantly higher. Criminals often steal a GPS unit from a vehicle, for example, and sell it. 

In this post, learn more about GPS units and stealing and how LAS products can prevent the ongoing problem of GPS theft. 

GPS and Stealing, Explained

A GPS-enabled tracker provides real-time location information to its owner, typically via a smartphone or computer. You can attach one of these trackers to a high-value asset and receive notifications when that asset leaves its geofence—a predetermined virtual perimeter for a real-world location. By tracking the asset's location, you can identify its whereabouts in the event of a theft and share that information with law enforcement or insurance companies. 

There is a certain irony in the fact that GPS units—designed to track criminals from stealing high-value assets like cars and boats—are now targets for thieves. Criminals might come across a GPS unit after breaking into a vehicle, steal it, and sell it for cash. Other times, thieves might purposively look for GPS units in areas with high concentrations of vehicles, such as parking lots and garages. Then there's the problem of criminals disposing of a GPS unit attached to a high-value item, preventing its owner from tracking the location of a stolen asset. 

How to Prevent GPS Unit Theft

You can attach most GPS units to an asset via cables or magnets. The problem is that most people place these units in the same place—a vehicle's dashboard or a mount on the window, for example. That makes it easier for thieves to find and steal the GPS unit. 

For GPS tracking to work, you need to hide your unit somewhere it's unlikely to be found. The risk of GPS unit theft will always be an issue, but most thieves act quickly and impulsively and haven't, for example, got time to search an entire vehicle for a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment. 

Here are some places to conceal a GPS unit and reduce the likelihood of theft:

Where to Hide a GPS Tracker in a Vehicle

Criminals typically check the most obvious places after breaking into a vehicle—the glove compartment, for example. To prevent GPS unit theft, you need to be more creative:

  • Position your tracking device inside your vehicle's dashboard, below the steering wheel. 
  • Place a tracker in the front or rear bumper. 
  • Connect your GPS unit to a brake light on your vehicle. 
  • Some GPS units, like the LandAirSea SYNC, connect directly to your vehicle's OBD-II port. Not only will most criminals overlook this location but connecting your GPS unit to the OBD-II port means you don't have to charge the device. 

Where to Hide a GPS Unit Elsewhere

Where you conceal your GPS unit depends on the object you want to attach it to. Here are some examples:

  • Hide your GPS unit in an inside pocket of a large backpack. A thief might not check this part of the backpack until they have arrived home, by which time you have already established its location on your smartphone or computer.
  • Conceal a GPS tracker in the mirror on a bicycle or motorcycle. Thieves are unlikely to open the mirror and check inside it. 
  • Boats are lucrative targets for criminals, with personal watercraft, runabouts, and utility boats among the most-stolen watercraft in the United States in 2019. A GPS unit can locate a stolen boat, but only if you conceal it in a hard-to-reach area such as a small storage compartment. 

GPS and Stealing: Size Matters

One issue with many GPS units on the market today is that these items are too big and bulky. Criminals who break into a car, for example, might see a GPS unit within a few seconds and steal it. GPS tracking is only successful if thieves don't notice the tracking device. 

LAS has pioneered GPS technology since the 1990s and offers a range of compact and discrete tracking devices that you can hide from thieves. 

Here are some of the best LAS products:

  • LandAirSea 54: This waterproof and dustproof GPS technology measures just 2.275" in diameter and 0.945" in height, making it one of the most discrete tracking devices out there. Engineered in the USA, LandAirSea 54 provides speed and geofence alerts, historical reports, and real-time tracking. Its innovative ShareSpot feature lets you share location information with friends, family, colleagues, law enforcement, and insurance companies. 
  • LandAirSea SYNC: As previously mentioned, this real-time telematic device doesn't require charging because it connects to your vehicle's OBD II port. It also measures just 2.50" in height, 1.89" in width, and 0.96" in diameter. Now you can track the location of a vehicle on your phone or computer without worrying about criminals stealing your GPS technology. 

LAS can help you find the right GPS tracker for your specific circumstances. Contact a professional to learn more about GPS and stealing.

Benefits of LAS Products

Here are some other benefits of investing in GPS tracking devices from LAS;

  • Customer Service: Troubleshoot GPS-related problems and set up your device with 24-hour customer service from LAS. Alternatively, you can solve issues by reading these online tutorials.
  • Battery Life: LandAirSea 54 has a battery that can last up to one year, and you can extend its life with the device's Powersaver mode.
  • Easy Set-Up:  Download the SilverCloud app from the App Store or Google Play, connect your tracker to a vehicle or other asset with the provided magnets or cables, and view location data inside the Silvercloud app. 
  • Cost: LAS products cost up to 80 percent less than other devices on the market, and there are no activation fees.

Final Word

GPS tracking devices can help you track high-value assets and prevent theft—but only if criminals don't steal them. Placing your GPS unit in a hard-to-reach location and investing in a discrete and compact device can solve the problem of GPS and stealing. LAS has a wide range of surveillance products that provide ongoing value.

Learn more about LAS products for GPS tracking

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