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North Carolina State Finds Success with GPS Locator To Reduce Bike Thefts

CatchAThiefGPS sends users text and email alerts when objects, such as bikes, leave an area or move faster than a prest speed.

North Carolina State University in Raleigh promotes the use of bicycles among its 34,000 students who travel around on its 1,075-acre main campus and 152-acre biomedical campus. But bicycle theft has traditionally been a problem. In spite of communicating the need to secure bikes with U-bolt locks to racks and register them with the transportation department, an average of 10 bikes were stolen every month.

Campus police began using new GPS tracking technology from SecurUS as a deterrent. CatchAThiefGPS is a small locator device that can be attached to an object. When the object is moved beyond set boundaries or moves more quickly than a preset threshold speed, the device sends text and email alerts. The user can look up turn-by-turn directions to the stolen item on a tracking Web site via a computer or smartphone.

At North Carolina State, police were able to use the tracker, which costs about $200, to catch a serial campus thief, reducing bike thefts to about 1.5 a month.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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