Thieves caught hours after stealing GPS tracking devices from tech company

(KRON)

SANTA CLARA (KRON) — It is an only in Silicon Valley kind of story, as police say high-tech thieves were caught stealing thousands of dollars worth of GPS tracking devices from a Santa Clara tech company.

“These devices kind of look like cell phone chargers, so they probably thought they had some kind of street value,” Roambee Corporation Co-Founder Vidya Subramanian.

Subramanian is talking about the hundred or so GPS tracking devices that were stolen recently from the company’s Dela Cruz Avenue labs.

“The moment we realized they had a box of trackers, we went into recovery mode,” Subramanian said. “We notified the police and equipped them to track the devices, and in about 5 or 6 hours, it was done.”

Before making off with about $18,000 worth of the devices, the thieves grabbed a beer out of the fridge and cut themselves in the process, leaving fingerprints and blood evidence.

But it wasn’t long before the police were using Roambee’s software to locate the devices and the thieves.

“We were able to pinpoint the location of these trackers to a warehouse in Union City and two of the devices had gone mobile, and the thieves were driving around with them in the East Bay,” Subramanian said.

The two men were arrested in Alameda. The storage locker was found to contain drugs and other stolen property.

Usually, the Roambee devices are used to track the shipment of bananas and other products worldwide, not criminals.

But the publicity may be good for business.

“What this has done is show our customers that our product not only works, but it goes into full recovery mode where we can actually show the end result for a roaming perspective,” Subramanian said. “It was picture perfect. This is what we’ve been gearing up to do, and we were ready for it and we executed.”

It doesn’t end there. Police say the two suspects may be tied to other crimes.

There was lots of stolen property in that storage locker, including a photo album that had irreplaceable images from World War II that was taken in a recent burglary in Saratoga.

The owner was thrilled to get them back.

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