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Real-Time GPS Tracking System Leads Police to Rental Car Thieves

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Car Thieves Found to Have Outstanding Warrants

Charlotte County (Florida) Sheriff's deputies on Wednesday arrested two individuals after they were able to track and locate a stolen rental vehicle equipped with a GPS tracking device. The rental car was reported stolen out of Miami.

Police in Punta Gorda, which is located roughly 180 miles northwest of Miami, issued a BOLO ("Be On the Look Out") for the rental vehicle after the occupants stole a purse out of another car at a gas station in that city. Marc Ronald Jacques, 29, and Erica Suzanne Ruiz, 22, were arrested.

PGPD issued the BOLO after reviewing surveillance video from the gas station that showed a black Chevrolet HHR leaving the scene after the woman reported that her purse had been stolen. The woman was pumping gas and left her purse in her unlocked vehicle. The purse contained six credit cards, cash and her cell phone.

Deputies were able to track and monitor the location of the stolen rental car thanks to the GPS tracking device that was installed on the vehicle. The owner of the rental company provided the real-time GPS coordinates of the stolen car to police. Charlotte County Sheriff's Deputies, along with Punta Gordo police officers followed the car and made a felony traffic stop.

Police discovered that the driver, Jacques, had two warrants out for his arrest. Ruiz, who gave a false name to police, had a warrant for her arrest in St. Lucie County. She was also found to be on probation through the state prison system.

When the deputies pulled the car over, they could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. After searching through the interior of the car, they found four baggies of marijuana along with the victim’s credit cards, driver’s license and her cell phone.

Jacques and Ruiz were both transported to the Charlotte County Jail where they both remain without bond. A total of 19 charges have been filed against the two. Both are charged with Burglary to a Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Credit Cards (6x) and Petit Theft. Jacques is additionally charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute. Ruiz was additionally charged with Providing a False Name to Law Enforcement, and Violation of Probation.

They are being held for the outstanding warrants in other counties.

Rental car companies run the risk of having their vehicles stolen directly from their lots or from customers who use false information. Oftentimes, the stolen vehicles are promptly taken to chop shops where they are taken apart piece by piece, which make it extremely difficult to track down. The individual parts are then sold to various car repair shops for more than what the car is worth as a whole.

One way to help prevent cars from getting to that point of no-return after they are stolen is by installing real-time GPS tracking devices, such as LandAirSea's SilverCloud. With the SilverCloud rental car company owners can utilize the online software to set virtual geo-zones around a designated area, such as a car lot. Once a vehicle leaves a designated geo-zone, the owners will automatically receive a text message (SMS) or email notifying them that the vehicle is on the move.

Real-time GPS tracking systems, such as the SilverCloud, are the perfect tools to help safeguard against car theft.
Source: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office (Facebook)

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