Mobile Wi-Fi: How a wireless router helped catch a thief


As an IT pro, it’s not often that I get to tail a suspect, track down a stolen vehicle and provide digital evidence of the thief’s getaway. But that was all part of a day’s work as some colleagues and I kept tabs on the hijacked maintenance truck and ultimately recovered it with the help of a GPS-enabled mobile router.

It happened last summer, and I was on the job the IT department of the transit authority I work for when word came in that one of our maintenance vehicles was stolen.

The worker on the truck left it running when he stepped out of the vehicle to check what needed to be done at a city bus stop, and an opportunistic thief drove off with it—a six-figure heist given the value of the truck plus the maintenance gear it carried.

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