Tonya Papanikolas reportingA GPS tracking system helped police recover a stolen Christmas gift. Someone stole an ATV out of the owner's garage while he was sleeping, but thanks to the technology he had put inside it, he got it back the same morning!
Mike Petty says, "I never would have seen it again had we not been able to see it from above."
Murray Police Detective Kenny Bass adds, "It was a really interesting way it happened and just glad for the guy he could get it back."
Last Thursday, Mike Petty was about to plow snow with his brand new ATV. But since there wasn't much, he left the keys in the open garage, planning to come back later, but he forgot.
"I woke up about 4:45 in the morning to the sound of my new ATV starting up," Petty said.
He looked out the window just in time to see someone driving his early Christmas present down the street. "Quickly I yelled at my wife to call the police. I ran outside barefoot, got in my car and tried to chase him," Petty said.
He spent half an hour looking for the thief with no luck. Then he says, "As I drove back into my cul-de-sac, I remembered that I had put one of my company's GPS locators on the ATV."
The GPS device sends a message as to where it is, and Petty can bring it up on a satellite image. He had programmed it to record every three hours.
"Its last position was at 3:00 in the morning here in my garage. About 6:00 in the morning, it updated," he said. That update gave him an image and an approximate address, which he passed along to police.
They got on the case right away! About two hours after the ATV was stolen, Murray police were able to track it to a house about a mile away.
"It's a great thing. Not only do we have a chance of possibly catching somebody with the stolen items, we can hopefully return it back to the owner in still the same condition," Bass said.
So, thanks to technology, Petty can once again enjoy his gift.
Though officers found the stolen equipment, the thief apparently didn't live in the house where he hid the ATV. Detectives have some leads and are still working to try to track him down.