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Stupid Case File for January 30, 2005

Doh! Man steals GPS tracking device

Courtesy of

A 40 year-old Wisconsin man has put in a strong bid for the dumbest criminal of the year after he allegedly stole a GPS tracking device used to monitor criminals on probation. AP reports that the $2,500 device, which has a built in GPS satellite receiver, was temporarily placed outside a home by a woman serving home detention. Prisoners wear a transmitter around the size of a cigarette pack on the ankle. The stolen device (around the size of a household brick) acts as a 'base station' for the portable tracking device criminals wear. After the light-fingered thief lifted the hi-tech gizmo, the device automatically notified the authorities that it had been removed from the vicinity of the prisoner's home. Its new location was easily tracked over the Net, leading authorities right to the suspect's appartment. "He apparently didn't know what he had because he would be awfully stupid to steal a tracking device," correctional officer Thomas Roth, of Rock County Jail's home detention program, told AP.

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