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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2007, 11:15 GMT
'Thieves' tracked via satellite
GPS is served by a network of orbiting satellites
Three men have been arrested for allegedly stealing global positioning systems mistaken for mobile phones.

Fourteen GPS tracking systems were stolen last week from a warehouse in Babylon, New York. They were to be used to help the city council track lorries.

Police remotely activated the systems after the theft which lead them to the home of one of the alleged culprits.

"The GPS device is quite beneficial when we are looking for something," said Inspector Robert Casagne.


Babylon Department of Public Works Commissioner Phil Berdolt said: "A few drivers came and said, 'The GPS isn't in the truck'."

"That's when we realised they were stolen. We figured out which ones were taken, fired them up on the screen and three were active."

All three GPS systems were in the same area, Mr Berdolt said, and his department reported their location to the police.

One device had stopped at three locations in less than two hours, he said.

The GPS system uses a global network of satellites to provide accurate navigational information.

More than two dozen GPS satellites are in medium Earth orbit, transmitting signals allowing GPS receivers to determine the receiver's location, speed and direction.

Hand-held GPS receivers are widely available and integration with mobile phones is expected to take off in 2007.

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