Police Use GPS Signal From “Dummy” Phone To Find $23K In Stolen AT&T Phones

Anyone who’s robbed a bank (or seen countless movies and TV shows about bank robbers) knows to expect that the bank might have put some sort of tracking device inside the stolen money to help police locate the loot. But it looks like phone retailers are using the same tactic to curb the theft of pricey smartphones from stores.

AJC.com reports that police in Peachtree City, GA, were able to locate suspects in a Dec. 20 armed robbery of an AT&T store with the aid of a “dummy” phone that was included among the $23,000 worth of devices stolen.

Apparently not even the employees were aware of existence of the dummy phone, which was set up to start pinging a GPS tracking service once it left the confines of the store.

The tracking company notified police and was able to provide an exact location of the stolen device.

Authorities located the vehicle and arrested one suspect who was charged with armed robbery. Three other suspects have subsequently been arrested and charged with everything from making false statements to kidnapping.