This story is both to raise awareness about a serious issue affecting the digital age and a plea to the Internet community for help in bringing my particular problem into the spotlight. The issue stems from a readily available piece of technology that most people aren’t even aware is available in the capacity I am about to explain. GPS Tracking Devices!
GPS technology has been commercially available for almost a decade now, but GPS tracking is an entirely different story and is no longer the stuff Hollywood movies are made of. The devices are not tiny like you see in James Bond movies, but about the size of a book. They can easily be placed on ANY car to track the drivers’ movements in real time over the Internet. The technology has many legitimate uses ranging from fleet management to teenage driver monitoring to lawful surveillance by law enforcement…. let’s not to mention trying to catch a cheating spouse! For a small monthly fee, you can log onto any number of subscription based service websites and see where the device is and has been.
I never really gave the technology much thought until my own wife found such a device under my 2006 Porsche, in my garage, apparently it had fallen off! She brought the device inside and left it sitting on the counter, thinking it was actually part of my car or something. After doing a double take as I walked by the black box, I knew exactly what it was and knew there was no way it was supposed to be anywhere near my car! I thought for several hours about who might have put this on my car and the illegal uses for such a device, as is the case here. I have a pretty good idea of who put it on my car and why! The same person has been stalking and harassing my wife and I for years! There’s been court cases, restraining orders issued, police reports filed, and arrests previously made, but the problem still persists and appears to have been taken to a whole new level with this latest incident.
Let me just explain to you some of the hypothetical “reasons” this SHOULD be taken seriously!
-Someone is trying to steal my car. It could be a valet or a mechanic at the dealership where I got my car or even the window tinting guy that tinted my car! Anyone I left my car with could be involved in some elaborate scheme to steal cars or break into houses by utilizing such devices.
-I have children ranging in age from 8 to 16; someone could be trying to profile me to abduct them. I am a well above average in the finances department.
-This could be an act of terrorism; PBSO doesn’t know whether I am a government contractor with secret clearance or work for TSA, a hospital or some other field of interest to terrorists. This is South Florida after all, the 9/11 hijackers did learn to fly planes here, in fact it’s only about 7 miles to the flight school in Lantana that they trained at.
-I could be a bank manager for all PBSO knows, they might be trying to rob a bank and profile me in the process!
-The list could go on, but I believe in this instance, none of the above is accurate. I believe I am a victim of Digital Stalking with a GPS device!
Of course, the exact reason is still a mystery. After looking the device up on the Internet and doing a little research, I decided to call the Sheriff’s office, it’s illegal to put this on someone else’s car and I know neither my wife nor I put it on the car, she is the one that found it after all. A police, but clueless deputy came to the house and said “What do you want me to do with it?”. After explaining what the device was and how it is used, I asked him to file a police report. He was reluctant and stated he had never heard of such a thing. After leaving with the device, he happened to call me an hour later as he was on his way to the evidence locker to tell me ran into another deputy that knew more about these devices and says it’s usually the spouse that puts it on the other spouses car. Well I can say without a doubt it wasn’t my wife, she found the damn thing! I also don’t drive the Porsche that much, I usually drive her car.
I haven’t heard anything else since and it’s been over 2 weeks.
My hope in sharing this issue is twofold, I would very much like to see the responsible person tracked down and prosecuted, but it’s also a growing issue in the age of technology in which we live. If anyone from the Palm Beach Post, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, any of the other local television or radio stations is interested in following up as a result of this article, please contact me by using the contact link above.