06-03-2010 02:13 AM
36 12
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  1. mapexvenus's Avatar
    This is a true story about how two Android phones, a service called Google latitude, and the CHP saved the day.

    So here is the skinny - can't go into too many details yet…

    - My wife and I were on our way to Lake Tahoe over the memorial day break. About 300+ miles into our trip, we decided to take a break at a rest stop. We took a little walk to stretch and were making our way back to our car…

    - …when we saw someone on the other side of the vehicle doing something that looked like he was *in* our vehicle.

    - On walking closer the man walked quickly to another car waiting behind hours (another person was at the wheel) and sped away

    - Discovered to our horror that the window of our vehicle was smashed in and a lot of our stuff was gone.

    - Stolen stuff: two laptops, two digital cameras (one of them very expensive), one Droid Eris, my Zune HD, my wfe's wallet, her credit cards, ID, cash, two backpacks, and some other stuff

    - Called 911 immediately and gave the dispatcher a description of the car and occupants

    - While waiting for the CHP to arrive, I remembered that I had enabled Google latitude on both our phones and that tracking was 'on'.

    - I was able to use my phone (HTC Incredible) to track exactly where my wife's phone was (it was headed down I-5 S)

    - Provided this information to the officer who arrived. Officer radioed ahead

    - Suspects apprehended based on information provided ALL ITEMS RECOVERED

    - Suspects had also robbed other victims so there was lots of loot. They also had prior criminal records and were on probation.

    - Went back to the county police station, went through paperwork and formalities.

    - Officers made repeated mention of how we assisted with the capture and were wise to use technology.


    I think that the following helped immensely:

    - Our ability to provide an accurate description of the car and suspects

    - Android + Google latitude

    - The very very awesome CHP

    - The fact that the suspects did not turn off my wife's phone after they stole it, so it kept transmitting its location to Google Latitude constantly.

    - The fact that Verizon had 3G signal in the middle of nowhere
    jds, theiphonewannabe and Kedar like this.
    06-02-2010 08:33 AM
  2. chuckz28's Avatar
    Dude!! That is an awesome story. Glad to hear you didn't get hurt and you got all your stuff back. GPS is awesome. I can't imagine the feeling in the pit of your stomach seeing that. And Welcome to AC!!
    06-02-2010 09:48 AM
  3. Yourdogsdead's Avatar
    That is indeed an awesome story. Good use of your phone
    06-02-2010 10:15 AM
  4. mclarryjr's Avatar
    That was a very good story and I'm glad you were able to get all your things back.

    Droid Does
    06-02-2010 10:24 AM
  5. theeroopable's Avatar
    - The fact that Verizon had 3G signal in the middle of nowhere
    Glad you got everything recovered and no harm was done to you or your wife.

    Secondly, tell Verizon, this has commercial written all over it...
    06-02-2010 10:40 AM
  6. Kyle Gibb's Avatar
    Glad you got everything recovered and no harm was done to you or your wife.

    Secondly, tell Verizon, this has commercial written all over it...
    Verizon could easily make one of their "what network would you trust?" ads out of this.
    06-02-2010 01:23 PM
  7. DesertSilver#AC's Avatar
    Glad everything worked out with no physical harm to you guys.

    My question is...how often does Google Latitude's position update?
    06-02-2010 02:15 PM
  8. itch808's Avatar
    What an amazing story of how technology can make your lives a little safer :0
    06-02-2010 02:23 PM
  9. Brainerd's Avatar
    I just hope criminals don't read this story.
    06-02-2010 02:26 PM
  10. swannick's Avatar
    I love a happy ending, especially when the use of technology is involved. Very smart people, including the owners of the phone, verizon, google and CHP.....Very dumb crooks.
    06-02-2010 02:28 PM
  11. nmyeti's Avatar
    quick question, is there anyway to turn latitude on remotely? Just thinking about how this would have turned out if the program hadn't been set to track your location.
    06-02-2010 02:36 PM
  12. spielnicht's Avatar
    Sweet, glad to hear you were able to recover everything.

    And Steve Jobs tells you that he knows what tools you need and don't.
    06-02-2010 02:40 PM
  13. ERDude's Avatar
    Makes me want to turn Latitude on and keep it updating all the time, but don't need everyone on my Latitude listing knowing my every move.

    For those of you like me check out Mobile Defense in the market, it's free and works great.
    06-02-2010 02:53 PM
  14. mapexvenus's Avatar
    Sweet, glad to hear you were able to recover everything.

    And Steve Jobs tells you that he knows what tools you need and don't.
    What Steve Jobs would be saddened to know is that the previous phone that my wife had was the iPhone 3G, which we replaced less than two weeks before this incident. I personally think that the iPhone + ATT combination would have failed us in this situation. Sure, Steve Jobs will also tell you about how a subscription to MobileMe would allow me to track the iPhone, but that would require a MobileMe subscription (costing $$), a computer to log into MobileMe, and a network connection.
    06-02-2010 02:57 PM
  15. redndeyes's Avatar
    latitude is very inaccurate and hardly ever updates. if this story is true you are so lucky. i feel google needs to do alot of work on the latitude feature as i find it useless
    06-02-2010 03:27 PM
  16. redndeyes's Avatar
    use the free app wheresmydroid its awsome for simply finding your phone with accuracy and without a doubt
    06-02-2010 03:29 PM
  17. kicko's Avatar
    Makes me want to turn Latitude on and keep it updating all the time, but don't need everyone on my Latitude listing knowing my every move.

    For those of you like me check out Mobile Defense in the market, it's free and works great.
    You can set it up so that it updates but "friends" cannot see.
    06-02-2010 03:34 PM
  18. mapexvenus's Avatar
    latitude is very inaccurate and hardly ever updates. if this story is true you are so lucky. i feel google needs to do alot of work on the latitude feature as i find it useless
    Not completely true. I have seen it update in real time with my wife's phone and mine side by side. I agree that there are times when updates are less frequent particularly when GPS is turned off, or the phone isn't able to receive satellite reception.
    06-02-2010 03:34 PM
  19. DesertSilver#AC's Avatar
    latitude is very inaccurate and hardly ever updates. if this story is true you are so lucky. i feel google needs to do alot of work on the latitude feature as i find it useless
    I'm not sure how often you expect it to update your position within Latitude, but keep in mind that in the best case scenario of real time positioning, it provides the worst case scenario in battery life since it would be constantly gathering the GPS position and sending the data.

    I posed the question above if anyone knows how often your position is actually updated with Latitude. I would expect something like every 5-10 minutes.
    06-02-2010 03:35 PM
  20. mapexvenus's Avatar
    I'm not sure how often you expect it to update your position within Latitude, but keep in mind that in the best case scenario of real time positioning, it provides the worst case scenario in battery life since it would be constantly gathering the GPS position and sending the data.

    I posed the question above if anyone knows how often your position is actually updated with Latitude. I would expect something like every 5-10 minutes.
    Based on my usage I would say close to real time the phone transmitting its location has GPS turned on and there is no interruption to satellite reception. Less frequent when the phone has to rely on cell tower triangulation and has poor reception.
    06-02-2010 03:39 PM
  21. likwidsoul's Avatar
    That's good stuff. I love to hear an Android story with a happy ending.
    06-02-2010 03:43 PM
  22. cnlson's Avatar
    Based on my usage I would say close to real time the phone transmitting its location has GPS turned on and there is no interruption to satellite reception. Less frequent when the phone has to rely on cell tower triangulation and has poor reception.
    what i have read is that when the phone detects it is not moving it is infrequent. when moving frequent.

    I feel a bannination coming on --
    Were the thieves black?
    06-02-2010 03:49 PM
  23. mapexvenus's Avatar
    what i have read is that when the phone detects it is not moving it is infrequent. when moving frequent.

    I feel a bannination coming on --
    You are right. I have noticed that updates are less frequent when the phone isn't moving. Also noticed that the updates are faster when viewing them on a phone than on the latitude website.
    06-02-2010 03:53 PM
  24. d3xn2o's Avatar
    Were the thieves black?
    Not kool... I Sense a Hammer Coming Down...



    Awesome Story... Google FTMFW!!!
    06-02-2010 04:00 PM
  25. borgey401's Avatar
    wow huh what a bunch of scum bags. i am glad that you ended up getting everything back tho good job man. by the way I WOULD DEF call Verizon and tell them what happened and then you could most likely be able to get " what network do you trust " add out of this and what that means for you IS FREE VERIZON ****!
    06-02-2010 04:14 PM
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