BSM Investigations L.L.C.

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.

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