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So my dad found a GPS with his lawn mower...


DocDiTTo
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My dad was mowing grass in an industrial park when he spotted something in an area he just mowed. Turns out it was a Garmin Nuvi GPS. When he turned it on he saw it was protected with a security PIN. So he gave me a call, told me he found a GPS and wondered what should be done with it. We both figured it had been stolen so I offered to try to locate the owner -- somehow. I put 2 ads on Craigslist thinking I might get lucky, but nothing. So the next time I saw my dad I got the GPS from him figuring I could contact Garmin to see if they had it registered to someone. If only I could get past the security PIN I figured I could get a clue as to who owned the thing.

 

I started hacking away and after about 15 minutes of playing around I managed to guess the security code. Lucky!! I took a look at the home location and found it to be near Philadelphia, PA --- quite a ways away from Harrisburg where the GPS was found. Unfortunately there was no address for the owner, no name or phone number. I knew what street the guy lived on but that was it. However, there was a name -- Jeanne -- with a street address in the recently used locations list. I looked up Jeanne on the internet, learned her last name, and found that she lived with "Jennifer" at the same address. Unfortunately no phone number was listed for either of them online. So I took a long shot and searched for Jeanne on Facebook. Nothing. I tried Jennifer and got one hit from a town outside Philly. Since she was from the Philly area I was hoping it was the same person. Turns out it was. Jennifer replied to my email saying that she knew whose GPS it was and provided a phone number. I called the number and spoke to the owner. The GPS had indeed been stolen out of their car back in May. The guy (Brian) figured he'd never see it again. I sent it out to him in the mail today. Granted, it's not in perfect condition -- the case is messed up and the power button is missing, but it works. (And considering it had been run over by my dad's lawn mower, it's actually in pretty good shape!)

 

I wish more lost/stolen GPS stories had a happy ending. For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere. And put a label on the back of the thing with your name and address just for good measure. That might not help if it's stolen, but it should increase your chances of getting it back if it's lost.

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

 

I'd modify that to, those of you who own a GPS of any type. Enter the darn owner info - there's a menu for it somewhere on every GPS I've ever owned.

 

I've got an Explorist on my desk that I picked up in the woods. Whoever owns it lives near me, and never cleared a track log - unfortunately, they never marked home coords, or turned it on until they were on their way into the woods! owner is doing a lot of the same kind of "follow the water" bushwhacking in the Green Swamp I am. Pity I can't get the device back to him.

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

 

Even on luggage tags I just have a first name and my work number.

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

They know your car isn't home. They don't know who is at the house. Considering I borrow my dad's Nuvi sometimes, they can't even know the car matches the address (of course, I don't leave the Nuvi in the car anyway...).

Edited by Dinoprophet
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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

 

Information they can just as easily obtain by driving by your house and/or knocking on the door. For that matter looking up your phone number and calling your phone.

 

Do you have a link to a news story of theives using data on a GPS to "track down" marks?

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

 

Information they can just as easily obtain by driving by your house and/or knocking on the door. For that matter looking up your phone number and calling your phone.

 

Do you have a link to a news story of theives using data on a GPS to "track down" marks?

The Snopes article mentions a few real cases. But it also explains why it's not a very effective method. And it describes some much more effective ways for thieves to know a house is unoccupied (e.g. obituaries. "Mrs Smith is survived by two children and three grandchildren, none of whom will be home during the hours of her funeral, which is at 1pm tomorrow"). You're in more trouble if you have your registration (your address) and a garage door opener (instant access any time) in the car.

 

So in my opinion, the risk of having your info in your GPS is very small, especially compared to other risks. At least have a phone number.

Edited by Dinoprophet
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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

If a thief breaks into your car to search your gps for it's home location they could just open the glove box and look at your car registration or insurance card and get the information easier.
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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

If a thief breaks into your car to search your gps for it's home location they could just open the glove box and look at your car registration or insurance card and get the information easier.

 

Yep, and like "Dinoprophet" said, they grab your garage door opener and bingo their in your house.

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

If a thief breaks into your car to search your gps for it's home location they could just open the glove box and look at your car registration or insurance card and get the information easier.

 

Yep, and like "Dinoprophet" said, they grab your garage door opener and bingo their in your house.

Of course, you're assuming that the door from the garage to the house is unlocked. Mine always stays locked. :D

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

 

They steal your car they know that already - insurance & registration card. Listen people you are not a private entity. Anyone can find out where you live with a minimal amount of work. Hiding behind handles as so many do will not stop it either. Send one email and the recipient has much info to tract you down.

Edited by Frank Broughton
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VERY GOOD. Very proud of you for doing that work to get it back to the owner. I lost my Magellan on my very first outing, I had not even had the chance to enter my name and address in it, I was just testing it out. To my misfortune, I fell on 14,100 foot Mount Sneffels here in Colorado and the GPS plastic belt holder broke. I ran ads for days online and in the local paper. A person answered me and he said that he met another set of hikers the next day who found a GPS unit and asked him if he lost it. My home coordinates were programmed in it, but I guess those who found it wanted to keep it more than return it. So I bought a Garmin60CSx and programmed my name, address, phone in it before it left the house.

 

A tip of the ole hat to you for getting that unit back to it's owner!!

:D

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They steal your car they know that already - insurance & registration card. Listen people you are not a private entity. Anyone can find out where you live with a minimal amount of work. Hiding behind handles as so many do will not stop it either. Send one email and the recipient has much info to tract you down.

As Frank stated, if someone breaks into my car, they will know where I live. At least here in Ohio, you can then look me up on the County Auditor's Web site, find out what I paid for my condo (if you're really, really bored), and even see a fairly recent photo of my home. Trying to hide things like your home address will only give you a false sense of security.

 

Since this is public information anyway, and since lots of people already know my home phone number, I list all that information on my 60CSx's startup screen. I've never lost it, but if I do it will at least increase the chance that it might be returned to me.

 

--Larry

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Great detective work!

 

I did something similar when I found a digital camera in the middle of the woods.

 

I downloaded and studied the 150 some photos looking for a clues. There were loads of pics from tht day's hike (I recognized some places where the photos were taken), a Christmas family gathering, the family out on ATVs, some of a newborn, and more of the family hiking. Then I spotted one pic that was they key, a group of about 10 family members gathered around an ammo box in the woods. They were geocachers! But where was the cache? I checked for logs on all the caches within a mile or so of where I found the camera, but there were no recent logs on any of them. Dead end.

 

A few pics later I saw a photo of the family in front of a state park sign. It was obvious it was taken the same day as the photo with the geocache because everyone was wearing the same clothing.

 

Googling the state park name I found that it was in Connecticut. Assuming that the cache they found might have been in, or near that state park I checked all the logs of caches in that area for past few months.

 

I found one cache that had a several weeks old log that mentioned finding the cache while out with family. A quick check of the profile showed the cache owner lived in NJ, not far from where I found the camera. Emailed her and got a response a day later. BINGO! The owner was very happy to have all her holiday photos back.

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I would put my work address in, not home, just in case mine gets stolen. I'd hate someone to break in while I was away. Same with home phone # - think I'd use my cell # for contact.

 

I've set my home address on my Nuvi as the city police department. If it gets stolen and the thieves hit the "Go Home" button looking for my house, I don't figure on getting the GPS back...but I like the idea that they'll pull up in front of the police station. Maybe they'll have a change of heart and turn themselves in. Then again, probably not.

 

If it should get lost in the woods or I set it down somewhere and leave it behind and someone comes along and finds it and wants to return it, they can either bring it/mail it to the police station. In that case, I'd contact the police station after I realized I had lost the GPS and let them know that someone might bring it in and if they do, the police would have my contact info.

 

Another idea along the paranoia highway...if you save other family/friends address's in your GPS, when you put in a name for that contact/favorite, choose something like Taco Bell or Red Roof Inn. Better a thief would think you have a motel or gas station listed as a favorite than your friends house.

 

Now where is that tinfoil hat smiley?

 

Bruce

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I love the stories (both the OP's and briansnat's) and like how they provide a refreshing reminder that most people are good. This isn't to say that there aren't bad ones out there or that precautions shouldn't be taken to protect oneself. It's just a nice little reminder that the vast majority of people are not malevolent and a number will even go out of the way to help others!

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Somewhat on topic, how do you enter owner info on a Garmin Oregon? Just got mine yesterday and can't figure out how to do it. :(

 

I don't know about the Oregon, per se, but it might be just like the Colorado. You need to edit a text file that is already on the unit. It gets displayed for a few seconds on the unit when you power it up.

 

Alternately, use a sharpie and write it inside of the battery compartment.

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

Because there's absolutely nothing else in your car that would have that information? Like your registration, insurance card, maybe some mail, etc.?

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

 

The thief was just in your car stealing your GPS, most owners have their 'unlock' location as their home address, they are sure to grab or at least write down your name, address from your car's registration slip or insurance card.

 

I don't see a problem with having valid contact info on your in car GPSr. Not likely that a snatch and grab thief is very likely to do anything other than try to unlock your GPSr in your driveway if you have it locked.

 

My guess - the owner of the GPSr in the OP's story used an unlock location other than their homes driveway as the unlock location and as a result the thief tossed it out the window after they couldn't get it unlocked. . .

 

If you are worried however - use your work address and phone/e-mail - but if they want to rob, harm, kill, mame, kidnap or otherwise do your harm then just leave no trace and get used to the fact that your $200 in car navi unit may turn up missing and never navigate it's way home some day.

 

My units? Home address on my Nuvi, and work phone/e-mail on my Oregon. Only reason for work phone and e-mail is that I'm more likely to be there than home and I paid $400 for my Oregon, and the wife won the Nuvi in a drawing....

 

I'd also be willing to bet that old credit card receipts, bills, and other 'clutter' in your car would give a thief more info on you than your GPSr anyway.

Edited by Jeep4two
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They steal your car they know that already - insurance & registration card. Listen people you are not a private entity. Anyone can find out where you live with a minimal amount of work. Hiding behind handles as so many do will not stop it either. Send one email and the recipient has much info to tract you down.

As Frank stated, if someone breaks into my car, they will know where I live. At least here in Ohio, you can then look me up on the County Auditor's Web site, find out what I paid for my condo (if you're really, really bored), and even see a fairly recent photo of my home. Trying to hide things like your home address will only give you a false sense of security.

 

Since this is public information anyway, and since lots of people already know my home phone number, I list all that information on my 60CSx's startup screen. I've never lost it, but if I do it will at least increase the chance that it might be returned to me.

 

--Larry

 

Larry's reply reminds me of when I worked at a bit of a crappy car dealership in a large metro. They encouraged sales people to 'tag' shoppers that wouldn't give name/phone number when on the lot shopping for cars.

 

The dealership had a microfiche machine with every vehicle registration (tag number, owner name, address, phone, expiration - and other data). They wanted us to then write a letter and follow up with a phone call to the shopper. . .

 

I never followed this 'suggestion' because I know how I would react if the dealer I just visited called after I gave a fake name, address and phone number to avoid the hassle of pushy sales people. But anonymity hasn't existed in our society for quite some time. There's always someone that has your information, and most of those people are willing to sell it for the right price (the dealer paid for a subscription from the state DMV for their data).

Edited by Jeep4two
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My guess - the owner of the GPSr in the OP's story used an unlock location other than their homes driveway as the unlock location and as a result the thief tossed it out the window after they couldn't get it unlocked. . .

 

 

That's the strange thing -- the owner said he didn't have a security code set, but when my dad found it there was one. Maybe the thief inadvertently set a code and forgot it, then having no recourse through Garmin since the unit was stolen just pitched it. I guess we'll never know for sure.

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Two stories of returned belongings through Geocaching:

 

Last October we were caching in Spokane and working on The Secret of the Lock Returns- GC16JZY- an awesome and frustrating cache. We discovered a Garmin GPS60X on the ground next to the tree and started it up. There was a phone number and first name on the owner screen. We called the number, no luck as it was disconnected. We checked for cachers using a login similar to the first name. Not much luck. So we started calling our Spokane Phone-A-Friend list. Some had ideas, some tried other friends, some just put the word out about the found GPS. The next evening we were contacted by the GPS owner and we sent it back to him. His log is here: The Thank You Log. He is such a nice guy.

 

The best one:

Just a few weeks later my brother Swolf12000 was geocaching his way home from a family visit and discovered a large camo backpack along the side of the road. He brought it to me and asked us to figure out who it belonged to if we could. It had army patches but no name, a digital camera but no names, some dvds and personal stuff but no names. And a receipt from a store in Arizona. With a date and a last name. Woohoo! We looked at the digital camera photos and saw a bunch of holiday pictures of a Army guy and his family, then a bunch of welcome-home photos from a ceremony that were taken more recently. Thanks to Google we were able to figure out which Army group had a welcome home ceremony during those dates and then searched for the last name within that group. Luckily for us the fellow had been written about in an article about his deployment and a photo of him was there to compare to the digital camera photos. I then contacted the Human Resources Officer who is above the group and explained what we had and asked how to get the pack back to their guy. Within 2 hours the VERY SURPRISED owner had called me with the info we needed and it was shipped off that day. The pack had disappeared while he was exploring Montana on a road trip and he had given it up as gone forever. They thought it was a bit crazy to go through all that effort but it was necessary as far as we were concerned.

 

-J

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Wow, If I every loose my GPS I hope some one like you finds it. I treasure my gadgets. I Hide them so they are out of sight in my vehicle when parked and not caching. If a thief doesn't see it, its as good as non existent to the thief. Out of sight out of mind. When traveling with the unit I keep it in hand or strapped in a carry case to my pack. I want to get a wrist strap for my hand held.

 

I don't have a good story pertaining to finding or loosing a gps but I do have a lost and found story I like to tell. As well as geocaching I have been an avid paintball player since 1998. One year I lost a pod of paint on my local field. It sucked because I had really nice pods and they didn't make them any more. 2 weeks later I played on the same field. While walking to the next field to play the next game a kid ran up to me and asked me if I dropped something. It was a pod of paint. MY POD OF PAINT! The one I lost 2 weeks prior. He made the connection because my pods were some what unique. The paint was still good and I was happy to have the pod back.

 

Matter of fact I still have and use them. Gator backs, one of the first pods to have a spring loaded lid.

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Larry's reply reminds me of when I worked at a bit of a crappy car dealership in a large metro. They encouraged sales people to 'tag' shoppers that wouldn't give name/phone number when on the lot shopping for cars.

 

The dealership had a microfiche machine with every vehicle registration (tag number, owner name, address, phone, expiration - and other data). They wanted us to then write a letter and follow up with a phone call to the shopper. . .

 

I never followed this 'suggestion' because I know how I would react if the dealer I just visited called after I gave a fake name, address and phone number to avoid the hassle of pushy sales people. But anonymity hasn't existed in our society for quite some time. There's always someone that has your information, and most of those people are willing to sell it for the right price (the dealer paid for a subscription from the state DMV for their data).

 

I had something like this happen to me when I test drove a car at a dealer. The car I was driving was owned by my father. I didn't give the dealer any indication that I would be trading in that car or that I owned it or that he could enter the car. When I got home my father asked if I liked the car I test drove! What?! How did he know? The dealer called him to report that his car had been stolen and was at their dealership! He told them that it wasn't stolen when they read my drivers license information to him (they copied my license before I could test drive their car).

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My dad was mowing grass in an industrial park when he spotted something in an area he just mowed. Turns out it was a Garmin Nuvi GPS. When he turned it on he saw it was protected with a security PIN. So he gave me a call, told me he found a GPS and wondered what should be done with it. We both figured it had been stolen so I offered to try to locate the owner -- somehow. I put 2 ads on Craigslist thinking I might get lucky, but nothing. So the next time I saw my dad I got the GPS from him figuring I could contact Garmin to see if they had it registered to someone. If only I could get past the security PIN I figured I could get a clue as to who owned the thing.

 

I started hacking away and after about 15 minutes of playing around I managed to guess the security code. Lucky!! I took a look at the home location and found it to be near Philadelphia, PA --- quite a ways away from Harrisburg where the GPS was found. Unfortunately there was no address for the owner, no name or phone number. I knew what street the guy lived on but that was it. However, there was a name -- Jeanne -- with a street address in the recently used locations list. I looked up Jeanne on the internet, learned her last name, and found that she lived with "Jennifer" at the same address. Unfortunately no phone number was listed for either of them online. So I took a long shot and searched for Jeanne on Facebook. Nothing. I tried Jennifer and got one hit from a town outside Philly. Since she was from the Philly area I was hoping it was the same person. Turns out it was. Jennifer replied to my email saying that she knew whose GPS it was and provided a phone number. I called the number and spoke to the owner. The GPS had indeed been stolen out of their car back in May. The guy (Brian) figured he'd never see it again. I sent it out to him in the mail today. Granted, it's not in perfect condition -- the case is messed up and the power button is missing, but it works. (And considering it had been run over by my dad's lawn mower, it's actually in pretty good shape!)

 

I wish more lost/stolen GPS stories had a happy ending. For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere. And put a label on the back of the thing with your name and address just for good measure. That might not help if it's stolen, but it should increase your chances of getting it back if it's lost.

 

I'm not sure, but I think you just geocached another human being!

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For those of you who use a GPS in your car, do yourself a favor and make sure your name, phone number, and address are stored in the data in the unit somewhere.

VERY BAD IDEA. should a thief steal your incar gps, they know your name, address and the fact YOU AREN'T HOME. thieves are doing that here in phoenix to rob your house.

 

While it's good to be vigilant, this really isn't so bad. Putting your name and phone number in your GPS gives honest people a way to return lost/stolen items. It doesn't really do that much for thieves.

 

They really have no way of knowing for sure if nobody's home. How many families have multiple cars? If it's the personal information you're worried about, keep in mind how much of that same information is already available elsewhere in your car (if they've broken into your car).

 

Also, did you notice how much personal information these folks were able to find using the internet? It's already available to the honest and the dishonest alike. It can be scary, but taking precautions should allow you to live somewhat normally. A life lived in fear is no life at all.

 

That said, I love stories like this. I put my name and phone number in my GPSr helped my friends program contact information into their GPSrs, because I've heard several stories about units coming back. As power69 said, though, it is best if you keep control of your GPSr and your car so you don't run into unpleasantness.. like not being able to go geocaching!

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While out with some friends caching on a remote ridge near Leavenworth, WA, I spotted a device in a rut in the road. It turned out to be a cell phone. It turned on and we found a listing for "Dad". I was driving, one friend didn't know cell phones (but then neither do I), the other friend knew cell phones but didn't want to cold call a stranger. So the second guy dialed, the first talked. The dad answered the phone with "Hi, Ugly!" (it was his nickname for his daughter) - he must of just about had heart attack when a strange, male voice responded "You don't know me, but ...". He called his daughter on the land line, and they were able to meet us at a pizza place where we were having dinner an hour or so later. They weren't geocachers, but had visited the same fire lookout earlier that day.

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While out with some friends caching on a remote ridge near Leavenworth, WA, I spotted a device in a rut in the road. It turned out to be a cell phone. It turned on and we found a listing for "Dad". I was driving, one friend didn't know cell phones (but then neither do I), the other friend knew cell phones but didn't want to cold call a stranger. So the second guy dialed, the first talked. The dad answered the phone with "Hi, Ugly!" (it was his nickname for his daughter) - he must of just about had heart attack when a strange, male voice responded "You don't know me, but ...". He called his daughter on the land line, and they were able to meet us at a pizza place where we were having dinner an hour or so later. They weren't geocachers, but had visited the same fire lookout earlier that day.

The same thing happened to me. I found a cellphone on the beach at San Diego. I phoned the owner and we arranged for a place to hand it back. I waited at the rendezvous and the owner didn't even get out of the car, just held her hand out. I received no thanks, just a grunt as if it inconvenienced her. :D

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While out with some friends caching on a remote ridge near Leavenworth, WA, I spotted a device in a rut in the road. It turned out to be a cell phone. It turned on and we found a listing for "Dad". I was driving, one friend didn't know cell phones (but then neither do I), the other friend knew cell phones but didn't want to cold call a stranger. So the second guy dialed, the first talked. The dad answered the phone with "Hi, Ugly!" (it was his nickname for his daughter) - he must of just about had heart attack when a strange, male voice responded "You don't know me, but ...". He called his daughter on the land line, and they were able to meet us at a pizza place where we were having dinner an hour or so later. They weren't geocachers, but had visited the same fire lookout earlier that day.

The same thing happened to me. I found a cellphone on the beach at San Diego. I phoned the owner and we arranged for a place to hand it back. I waited at the rendezvous and the owner didn't even get out of the car, just held her hand out. I received no thanks, just a grunt as if it inconvenienced her. :D

 

We used to do stuff like this all the time when I worked in Loss Prevention for a national chain store. Folks would leave their cell phones, and then we'd call someone to let them know we had the phone. Usually, we picked the person who had 5 very recent missed calls, since we figured that guy was helping the owner look for the phone. Typically worked. If that person didn't answer, then we went for "Home", "Dad", or "Mom".

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While out with some friends caching on a remote ridge near Leavenworth, WA, I spotted a device in a rut in the road. It turned out to be a cell phone. It turned on and we found a listing for "Dad". I was driving, one friend didn't know cell phones (but then neither do I), the other friend knew cell phones but didn't want to cold call a stranger. So the second guy dialed, the first talked. The dad answered the phone with "Hi, Ugly!" (it was his nickname for his daughter) - he must of just about had heart attack when a strange, male voice responded "You don't know me, but ...". He called his daughter on the land line, and they were able to meet us at a pizza place where we were having dinner an hour or so later. They weren't geocachers, but had visited the same fire lookout earlier that day.

The same thing happened to me. I found a cellphone on the beach at San Diego. I phoned the owner and we arranged for a place to hand it back. I waited at the rendezvous and the owner didn't even get out of the car, just held her hand out. I received no thanks, just a grunt as if it inconvenienced her. :D

 

My similar experience was when I found a cell phone on the freeway. It was stop and go traffic and I just happened to stop next to it. It took a bit of calling through the numbers to get a message to the owner. About 3 hours later, this guy just walks into my house, without knocking or anything (the front door was open since it was Summer) and announced he was the guy who lost the phone. I handed it to him and he just said "I wondered how it got on the freeway" and then he left. That was it.

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I saw a story on the news about people breaking into cars and stealing them. They then used the owners GPS to go to their house by locating the "home" waypoint and going to it. They then easily opened the garage door with the remote, drove in, closed the door, and then broke into the man door to the house.

 

They would then steal all things of value by loading the stolen goods into the car and then drive away. They did this to a family that was watching their son's baseball game. They did everything, from stealing the car and loading it up, in less than one hour.

 

The story was just trying to point out how easy it is to do this type of crime with the advent of the GPS. No matter what you do, as others have stated, you can't stop them from finding your house. It's on your registration and your insurance cards that are kept inside the vehicle. The key thing to remember is that you don't want to make it easy for them. Don't leave your GPS out if you can store it in the glove compartment. Don't keep your home address listed as home, call it something else.

 

Just try to be smarter than the criminal.

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I saw a story on the news about people breaking into cars and stealing them. They then used the owners GPS to go to their house by locating the "home" waypoint and going to it. They then easily opened the garage door with the remote, drove in, closed the door, and then broke into the man door to the house.

 

They would then steal all things of value by loading the stolen goods into the car and then drive away. They did this to a family that was watching their son's baseball game. They did everything, from stealing the car and loading it up, in less than one hour.

 

The story was just trying to point out how easy it is to do this type of crime with the advent of the GPS. No matter what you do, as others have stated, you can't stop them from finding your house. It's on your registration and your insurance cards that are kept inside the vehicle. The key thing to remember is that you don't want to make it easy for them. Don't leave your GPS out if you can store it in the glove compartment. Don't keep your home address listed as home, call it something else.

 

Just try to be smarter than the criminal.

 

The smart criminal would have their own GPS and would just enter in the address from your assorted paperwork.

 

You know, your house isn't invisible from the outside. They can just find your house by looking for a house. This notion that (OMG!) marking your home on your Nuvi draws theives to you like flies to sugar is a little absurd. Here's another CRAZY idea: they could just follow you home.

 

Frankly, I'd be more worried about the loss of my GPS than anything else. It's for that reason that we don't leave it on the dash in the parked car.

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I wish someone would have turned in my "coupon Folder"... It must have either dropped out of the cart,or it got stolen right out of my grocery cart.. I know I didn't forget it.... It had all my coupons in it. (no big loss) But, It also had over $300 in gift cards and free food cards for my son in it...

 

As for lost/stolen GPS return..... Why not put a sticker on the inside of the battery compartment that says:

 

If found, please log onto Geocaching.com and send an email to this username: (enter your name here).

 

That way there is no way for those less lawfully inclined to find out more than a general area of your home location....

 

I have the "Home" coordinates set to the school near my house (3 blocks from the home).... If i can't find my way home from there.. i have been severely impaired by a blunt force trauma event!!!!

Edited by catt101
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I saw a story on the news about people breaking into cars and stealing them. They then used the owners GPS to go to their house by locating the "home" waypoint and going to it. They then easily opened the garage door with the remote, drove in, closed the door, and then broke into the man door to the house.

 

They would then steal all things of value by loading the stolen goods into the car and then drive away. They did this to a family that was watching their son's baseball game. They did everything, from stealing the car and loading it up, in less than one hour.

 

The story was just trying to point out how easy it is to do this type of crime with the advent of the GPS. No matter what you do, as others have stated, you can't stop them from finding your house. It's on your registration and your insurance cards that are kept inside the vehicle. The key thing to remember is that you don't want to make it easy for them. Don't leave your GPS out if you can store it in the glove compartment. Don't keep your home address listed as home, call it something else.

 

Just try to be smarter than the criminal.

If you saw it on the news then the reporter was being lazy and got his story from an often-forwarded urban legend email that's been around for years.

 

See http://www.snopes.com/crime/intent/gps.asp for details.

 

Don't let remote unrealistic stories like this make you afraid of life! :D

 

Anyone can trace a car tag online, they don't have to break into your car. Notice all the amateur radio call sign tags on the road? The fact that they have that tag tells everyone that they likely own thousands of dollars of almost untraceable electronics. Next time you see one go to qrz.com (or the publicly available FCC database) and type it in. Voila... everything a thief could want to know about that operator. The FCC requires that amateur operator's real name and address be published publicly, so if you ever see or hear a ham call sign you can know exactly who that person is, where they live and what level of license they possess (and by extrapolation what kind of equipment they likely own).

 

Why doesn't that happen? Because there is no logical connection between someone's car being away from home and the house being empty! We have 5 cars, one of them is most always gone, yet the house is rarely empty.

 

Think logically about these scare stories and you will see that having your contact info in your cell phone and GPS has benefits that far outweigh the risk. :(

 

Now, if someone doesn't cut my grass real soon I'll need a GPS to find my lawn mower!

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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