A backpack equipped with a tracking device and placed in an unlocked car led Sandy Springs police directly to a man accused of breaking into vehicles Tuesday evening, authorities said.
The department began deploying the bait car recently as a way to combat an increase of auto break-ins and thefts in the city, Sandy Springs police spokesman Sgt. Sam Worsham said. The vehicle was donated to the department by an insurance company.
When moved, the tracking devices activate and notify officers that a break-in has occurred, he said.
Officers were alerted to a theft about 8 p.m. Tuesday after an item was stolen from a bait car placed on River Vista Drive, Worsham said. Police arrived in time to see a black Dodge Challenger leaving the scene.
Police tracked the backpack to Conley Road in Clayton County and discovered the Challenger had been stolen, authorities said.
The tracking device continued to move, however, and officers followed it to a home on Forest Park Road in southeast Atlanta. Atlanta police responded to the scene and the North Metro SWAT team was called to enter the house.
Inside, police arrested 18-year-old Jiquial Green. He was booked on one count of obstructing law enforcement officers, but police expect to file additional charges, Worsham said.
A second vehicle on the property was impounded after officers discovered several laptops and tablets inside, authorities said. Police are working to contact the owners of the devices and return their belongings.
“By using this technology, officers are able to track suspects without engaging in high-speed pursuits that put officers and the public in danger,” Worsham said. “We’ll continue to deploy the car, track suspects and recover stolen property.”
Green was released from jail Wednesday after posting a $5,000 bond, Fulton County Jail records show.