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Posted on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 : 6:02 a.m.

Metro Detroit thieves use stolen GPS units to find homes to burglarize

By Lee Higgins

Thieves are breaking into cars, taking GPS units, then using addresses programmed in the units to find homes to burglarize, Pittsfield Township police said.

There have been two such incidents recently in the area, said Gordy Schick, the township's deputy director of police services.


Police are searching for this pickup truck.

Other cases have been reported in Troy, Wixom, West Bloomfield and Livonia, Schick said.

The cars are being targeted in parking lots at movie theaters and other places where people spend hours of their time, such as sporting events, police said.

No information was available Monday on where the local burglaries occurred.

Schick is reminding people to keep their cars locked, to not leave valuables in plain view and to be vigilant.

Police are looking for a white GMC 2500 pick-up truck believed to be involved in the two recent incidents.

Anyone with information can call Pittsfield police at (734) 944-4911.



Sat, Nov 28, 2009 : 9:39 a.m.

I never leave my gps in my car. It's thin enough that I just stick it in my coat pocket or bag. 'Course if I ever did forget and leave it in the car and they found their way to my house, they'd have to get past my three dogs and one really, really dislikes men he doesn't know.


Tue, Nov 17, 2009 : 9:42 p.m.

or you can just do what I do, unplug the GPS and throw it between the seats and cover it with misc crap that seems to accumulate in the passanger seat.

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Nov 17, 2009 : 11:19 a.m.

@ferdcom, but how much easier is it to have tom-tom tell them how to get home? much easier. (so i'm told);-) dading!


Tue, Nov 17, 2009 : 10:23 a.m.

This makes no sense. Most people have registration and insurance certificates in their cars. These have their address on them -- all the thieves need is their own GPS or a MAP.


Tue, Nov 17, 2009 : 9:03 a.m.

Might work except my girlfriend is the one with the GPS unit in her car. When she is at the movies with her sister I'm usually setting at home with the dog. I can't wait for someone to try this with me at home.


Tue, Nov 17, 2009 : 8:16 a.m.

A popular question to this situation is, "Why do people need a GPS to find their way home?" Well, as a GPS owner, if you go somewhere unfamiliar, selecting "Home" on your GPS gets you to the interstate or the quickest way out of a situation in unfamiliar territory. What I would suggest is plug in the address to the corner gas station or something.

David K

Tue, Nov 17, 2009 : 7:48 a.m.



Tue, Nov 17, 2009 : 7:40 a.m.

I don't have a GPS, and until my wife and I talked about it, this story made no sense whatsoever to me. I thought "thieves are going to the places you've visited and breaking into their houses?" Why would that make any more sense than just picking houses to break into? Then my wife said they use it to break into the owner's house. Why would anyone need directions to their own house? Then I thought, "OK, if they were breaking into the owner's house, how's that different than breaking into a house without a GPS to tell them to go there?" Maybe they go after GPS owner's houses because they have more electronic toys? Finally, my wife pointed out that if the victim had a GPS, they probably had an electric garage door opener, so the thieves can just use that to break in. We don't need one of those either. But if you put all of that together what the thieves are doing finally makes sense.

Dell Deaton

Tue, Nov 17, 2009 : 6:26 a.m.

It's my understanding that some GPS units have lock-out options, similar to cell phones. So each time you'd access it after a power-down, you'd be required to enter a code in order to use the device (including call-up of commonly used "Home" information). Thanks for the alert here, Mr. Higgins.