Silicon Valley Heist: Not-So-Smart Thieves Steal GPS Equipment

A pair of Silicon Valley thieves burglarized a startup company and made off with $18,000 worth of high-tech equipment which — unfortunately for them — contained about 100 GPS tracking devices. The duo broke into the offices of the Internet of Things (IoT) and walked off with several laptops, along with devices that resemble cell phone chargers. However, those devices were actually Roambee’s “Bees,” which are used by pharmaceutical, agricultural, and consumer electronic companies to track goods within an accuracy of 16 feet using built-in Wi-Fi, GMS, Bluetooth and GPS functions. The Bees trackers were already powered up for transmission and were set up to automatically transmit periodically as long as their batteries were charged. When the Roambee's staff put the devices into recovery mode – meaning they send out a beacon every minute – the location of the thieves was able to be pinpointed to the exact location of the trackers. The two thieves were found inside a warehouse and arrested. Although the devices are primarily used to track shipments of banana pallets and other products in transit, Roambee says that the botched robbery and pinpointing of the criminals' whereabouts is proof that their product is effective.