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What is GPS Tracking?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers that we use for investigative surveillance are different from the GPS devices on your dashboard or windshield that makes sure you don’t get lost. These investigative GPS trackers show you exactly where a vehicle, asset, or person is located and will track and document the historical position of that vehicle, asset or person over time. Most GPS Trackers have software that allows our investigators to generate a detailed GPS Tracking Log of the vehicles historical location(s).

How does GPS tracking work?

GPS trackers receive signals transmitted by satellites in Earth’s orbit and use these signals to triangulate their exact location. Trackers vary in how they process the location information, but quality GPS trackers are typically accurate to within 5 to 15 feet.

What are the advantages of using a GPS tracker in an investigation?

The biggest advantage is cost. Before GPS trackers were available, in order to know where someone was going, they had to be physically followed by an investigator. To effectively follow or conduct a roving surveillance, (subject is on the move) you would need to assign least three investigators. Sometimes surveillance will go on for 24 hours a day, sometimes for weeks or months at a time. Sometimes, the subject may not even engage in any suspect behavior. The client will be charged an hourly rate, plus expenses like gasoline and tolls, for each hour the surveillance is conducted. Surveillance can get expensive very quickly.

With GPS trackers at a fraction of the cost, we can learn a lot of intelligence about the subject’s movements and behavior over time at a greatly reduced cost. An analysis of the data will tell us the best times and locations at which to conduct “live surveillance” with Investigators. This approach can often save the client a substantial amount of money.

Where do investigators typically hide GPS Trackers?

Device placement is one of the most common concerns when trying to track a vehicle. There is no one best location to place a device covertly. It can vary wildly based on many factors, including the design of the vehicle, what materials it is made of, and interference caused by other vehicle components.

Most devices have weatherproof magnetic cases available as accessories, allowing a device to be placed on the undercarriage of a vehicle. This will slightly impact accuracy; usually the reported location will be within 30-60 feet, as opposed to being within a few feet, but this is usually adequate for most investigations.

A battery-powered device allows us to move the tracker from one car to another car, because it is not hardwired to the car’s battery and is typically used in most investigations. Generally small and easy to conceal, a battery-powered GPS tracker can be placed in multiple locations within a vehicle.

A battery-powered device doesn’t only track a car. You can place it in someone’s pocket or briefcase. Or, if you want to track a package, you can. Most GPS trackers are designed for outdoor use and may not be as effective when whatever you’re tracking is indoors.

Hard-wired devices that are wired to the vehicles electrical system are also available, but can take some time to install. They are generally not used or necessary for most investigations and are typically used by companies for tracking their vehicle fleets.

Is it legal to track a car with GPS?

The key issue in the planting of a GPS tracker is whether the person who was tracked had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Most courts have yet to rule on the use of GPS trackers and as such, there is some gray area, as the law is typically five years behind technology. However, the short technical answer to the above question is, that if you own the vehicle or have joint ownership of it, then it is perfectly legal to use a GPS system to monitor it.

Most private investigators, including Hattiesburg PI, will require the client to show proof of ownership and sign an authorization that grants the investigator permission to install the tracking device.

How can Hattiesburg PI help you?

If you are needing to track a spouse or teen GPS tracking is an excellent resource to use. It keeps a log of all the stops/places visited for the client to view. This service is also popular for our investigators to know when and where the person is question is, keeps the cost down for the client and assists the investigators on the case.

You may also visit our sister site to find out more on how to track a GPS.