GPS tracking device on valuables leads to arrest - - The News for South Mississippi


GPS tracking device on valuables leads to arrest

(Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)
James Yunis, 37, (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office) James Yunis, 37, (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

Most people are aware of GPS tracking devices, like LoJack, available to deter car theft.

But, these trackers can also be installed on smaller items.

And this technology just helped police bust a suspected burglar.

"It's never a good thing to be violated this way," said Allen Crosby whose home was burglarized Thursday, Jan. 16. "But, at the same time, we've taken every measure to try to protect us in this aspect. We will now take further measures."

Despite an alarm system warning posted in front of Crosby's north Phoenix home, a burglar kicked in his front door and stole about $10,000 worth of jewelry and electronics.

"Myself being a technophile, and so is my friend, we were able to order and place mini-micro GPS units in our electronics that we wanted to safeguard," said Crosby.

A phone-app activated tracker, embedded in a stolen camera, enabled Crosby to lead Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies to a home in Chino Valley the next day.

"We actually watched the vehicle pull directly into the suspect's driveway," said Crosby. "We then saw the bag move into house and we were able to pinpoint the exact room where it was in via satellite image."

YCSO said the homeowners allowed deputies inside where they made their way to a bedroom.

A beep from the GPS unit, activated by Crosby's phone in Phoenix, lead deputies to some of the stolen items that were hidden.

"I was on the phone talking to the detectives there at the same time," he said. "So, every time the button was pushed to make the sound, I would hear it through the phone."

About 24 hours after the burglary, Chino Valley police arrested the homeowners' 37-year-old son, James Yunis, a convicted felon who has served time for drug charges.

"I'm an older person and I like to say sometimes that technology is almost like the root of all evil lately, but, in this case, it definitely is not," said Crosby.

He said some of his wife's jewelry was not recovered and he suspects they might've been taken to a pawn shop.

Yunis has been booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center for Theft-Control of Stolen Property.

Bail is set at $10,000.

YCSO said a joint investigation is underway with the Phoenix Police Department and Yunis could face additional charges.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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