Police in a peninsula town are preventing burglaries of homes by using trackers


Police in the wealthy Peninsula town of Atherton have been using technology to foil would-be burglars in response to a recent spate of home invasions.

Approximately 7,000 people reside in well-maintained homes that are mostly concealed by hedges, trees, and shrubs. And yet, some way or another, burglars manage to get in and escape.

“We primarily because our community is older,” Sharam Shirati, a 32-year resident, stated. “People then enter. Crack a small window, open the doors, and enter; perhaps the occupants are sleeping. And after taking what they can, they go.”

A pause in these kinds of crimes that followed an all-time high of 45 has, according to Atherton police, reversed course.

“Burglary is more of a local issue. It appears to have been rather pervasive throughout,” CDR. Dan Larsen remarked.

According to him, the sum this year—15—is nearly same to the figure from 2023—17. Thus, the Bait House Program is being introduced by this department.

Fifty householders who were pre-selected have consented to police placing trackers in everyday household items that are suspected of being stolen.

“Once that tracker is moved, we will get a notification of it, which will trigger a response by the police department, with our ultimate goal of apprehension,” Larsen explained.

According to specialists in criminal justice, this idea can assist stop criminal gangs from traveling from city to city.

“Law enforcement and the bad guys are in a technology race,” said retired FBI Special Agent-in-Charge and University of New Haven professor Ken Gray.

Each tracker in this program costs $500, according to Atherton police, unlike AirTags, which sell for $20 to $30.

So yet, only a section of the first 50 homes have been furnished.

Something as basic as a tile or an AirTag cannot be used. In addition to a GPS tracker, you basically need something with a radio—a cellular radio integrated into it,” said Palo Alto-based tech expert and ConnectSafely CEO Larry Magid.

Although the program is still in its early stages, some locals believe it might already be a success.

“The threat of having a tracker in place could maybe give thieves a second thought about hitting that house,” Shirati added.

In order to trace allegedly stolen goods that are moved around the town, police said they will also make use of the traffic cameras that are already in place. They acknowledge that it will take some time to determine if house invasions are increasing at the same rate as previous year or declining dramatically.

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