Not only do ACR Electronics Personal Locator Beacons save lives, but they can also assist police departments in apprehending burglars. That is, if the thief is dumb enough to turn it on. (Someone call the Darwin Awards.)
William Malloy of Bakersfield, Calif. recently had his truck broken into by a burglar who took approximately $5,000 dollars’ worth of William’s boating and outdoor gear. Among the stash was his ACR Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), according to the Bakersfield Police Department. Malloy immediately reported the stolen gear to the Bakersfield Police Department and the beacon, specifically, to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which the beacon was registered with, according to NOAA sources.
A few days later, Malloy was contacted by the U.S. Air Force Response Coordinator and the California Emergency Management Agency and advised that someone had activated his Personal Locator Beacon. Both agencies were aware that the PLB had been reported as stolen with NOAA but were serving due diligence and wanted to make sure Malloy had not recovered his PLB and activated it as the result of an emergency.
Through the agencies coordinated efforts, the ACR PLB successfully led law enforcement to the residence at which Malloy’s PLB was broadcasting from, according to the Bakersfield Police. At this residence they not only retrieved Malloy’s boating and outdoor gear but they also found other victims possessions, which the burglar had stolen.
“Because the thief unwittingly activated my PLB, he was located and arrested, my out-of-pocket expenses were limited to the cost to replace the window of my vehicle (about $200, versus the approximate $5,000 it would have cost to replace all of my electronic items) and I will have no need to file a claim with my insurance company,” said Malloy.
In this case, Malloy’s ACR personal locator beacon not only brought search and rescue directly to its exact location, but it also brought a criminal to justice.