Is it really Theft to remove a tracking device?

SavannahMann

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That is the argument made by the Prosecutors and Police in Indiana. First the link. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy...for-removing-police-gps-tracker-from-his-car/

Now, the police thought they had identified a Drug Dealer. They got a warrant to put a GPS Tracker on the car of the suspect. They placed the tracker, and a few days later it stopped working. The Police waited to see if it would work again, and it didn’t. So they got a warrant to search for the GPS tracker in the cars of the Suspect, and his property. They found drug making stuff, and drugs, and the tracker. But is it Theft to remove the tracker from your car? The Prosecutors admitted to the Indiana Supreme Court that it would not be theft to remove the tracker if anyone else had placed it on the car, but the Cops had a warrant.

The reason they are fighting this so hard on both sides is obvious. First, without the Theft Charge, there is no probable cause for the Search Warrant, and the Drug Dealer will go free. If the Theft Charge stands, what will be the result? Welcome to one of those exceptions that I keep telling people is the pavement to the road to hell. Well intentioned, best reasons, and immediately abused if it is allowed.

What will be the next exception placed on the shoulders of this one should it stand? If you discover a microphone or camera in a business or residence, and remove it, are you interfering with a police investigation? Will you also be charged with Theft? Do you have to call the cops to find out if they put the microphone in place? If you refuse to stand beside the microphone and lay out your plans, criminal or otherwise, are you destroying evidence? The next exception is going to be even more of a stretch, and they will use this decision to justify it.

What if you discover a GPS tracker on your car, and afraid it might be a Police investigation, do not remove it, and are kidnapped by a stalker who was using it to find a victim of some perverse fantasy?

It did not say property of the police on the Tracker. No way to know it was placed by a cop and not a baddie intending any number of bad things to the owner of the car. Personally, I believe the theft charge is a lazy excuse by the cops, and should be thrown out. With it the entire search warrant. Yes, the baddie gets away with it. Yes, he goes free. But he is also out tens of thousands of dollars for the drugs that were lost. And he knows that the cops will be all over him, his criminal empire days are over.

And the cops learn you can’t go the lazy way to get the baddies, you have to do it right. Not just whatever excuse you can think of.
 

Tijn Von Ingersleben

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Easy...if you find one call in a bomb threat on the car...it doesn't say "Property of Police...Tracker" on it. Make them do the work.
 

Bob Blaylock

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I say that if someone abandons their property, on your property, it's yours to do with as you will. I see no legitimate basis at all on which to accuse this alleged drug dealer of stealing the GPS device.
 

Desperado

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Remove it, go to a truck stop and stick in on a semi with out of state plates
 

evenflow1969

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That is the argument made by the Prosecutors and Police in Indiana. First the link. Cops put GPS tracker on man’s car, charge him with theft for removing it

Now, the police thought they had identified a Drug Dealer. They got a warrant to put a GPS Tracker on the car of the suspect. They placed the tracker, and a few days later it stopped working. The Police waited to see if it would work again, and it didn’t. So they got a warrant to search for the GPS tracker in the cars of the Suspect, and his property. They found drug making stuff, and drugs, and the tracker. But is it Theft to remove the tracker from your car? The Prosecutors admitted to the Indiana Supreme Court that it would not be theft to remove the tracker if anyone else had placed it on the car, but the Cops had a warrant.

The reason they are fighting this so hard on both sides is obvious. First, without the Theft Charge, there is no probable cause for the Search Warrant, and the Drug Dealer will go free. If the Theft Charge stands, what will be the result? Welcome to one of those exceptions that I keep telling people is the pavement to the road to hell. Well intentioned, best reasons, and immediately abused if it is allowed.

What will be the next exception placed on the shoulders of this one should it stand? If you discover a microphone or camera in a business or residence, and remove it, are you interfering with a police investigation? Will you also be charged with Theft? Do you have to call the cops to find out if they put the microphone in place? If you refuse to stand beside the microphone and lay out your plans, criminal or otherwise, are you destroying evidence? The next exception is going to be even more of a stretch, and they will use this decision to justify it.

What if you discover a GPS tracker on your car, and afraid it might be a Police investigation, do not remove it, and are kidnapped by a stalker who was using it to find a victim of some perverse fantasy?

It did not say property of the police on the Tracker. No way to know it was placed by a cop and not a baddie intending any number of bad things to the owner of the car. Personally, I believe the theft charge is a lazy excuse by the cops, and should be thrown out. With it the entire search warrant. Yes, the baddie gets away with it. Yes, he goes free. But he is also out tens of thousands of dollars for the drugs that were lost. And he knows that the cops will be all over him, his criminal empire days are over.

And the cops learn you can’t go the lazy way to get the baddies, you have to do it right. Not just whatever excuse you can think of.
Place it in or on my car or property it is mine. No theft and yes extreme police over reach.
 

rightwinger

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If you find a tracking device on your car and it does not provide information on who it belongs to and how to return it, you should be free to dispose of it
 

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