Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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GPS used in interesting, and outrageous, way during robbery

The following story is one part bizarre and another part tragic, with a dash of outrage mixed in. A robbery suspect was recently killed by police after he was tracked down by a decoy prescription bottle. The bottle had a GPS device inside of it that allowed police to locate the suspect. The man then pulled a gun out, and the police responded with lethal force.

This didn't happen here in California -- it happened on the other coast, in New York City. In the city, there is a program that allows pharmacies to use decoy bottles to try to deter people from stealing from the pharmacies, and to allow the police to swiftly track the people down who do take these bottles.

While this program seems to be celebrated, it seems a bit unfair, no? If challenged, would these decoy bottles be accepted? Do they violate the rights of people whether they are stealing or not? What if the pharmacy accidentally hands out one of these decoy bottles to a person who has committed no crime?

There seem to be many issues surrounding this decoy bottle plan, but it has been implemented and utilized anyway.

While in this case the suspect was killed, there are likely to be many more cases in the future where the suspect goes before a court. This decoy bottle program may even make its way to other states. What will happen when a number of people challenge the program? Will criminal rights triumph over this GPS bottle plan?

Source: New York Times, "Robbery Suspect Tracked by GPS and Killed," Joseph Goldstein and Michael Schwirtz, May 16, 2014

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