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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - From "baited" bikes to bags, Wrightsville Beach Police want to make sure thieves think twice before stealing people's items.
Police Chief Dan House says they bought two new GPS s units to help them catch crooks red handed, but that's not the only benefit – he says the method also acts as a deterrent.
Officers are hiding the units inside of bikes, kayaks, surf boards and other items that can be swiped.
Then, if that item moves out of a so-called "safe zone," it alerts officers by texting their phones.
Detectives can log on to a website and see exactly where the item is, where it's going, and how fast it's moving.
WECT's Ashlea Kosikowski wanted to put it to the test, so with the help of the police, she pretended to steal a bike by walking out of the safe zone.
Within seconds, police got a text that the bike was on the move.
House believes the technology will reduce crime, and beachgoers think the high-tech approach is a good idea.
House says they're already building cases against some suspects who were caught using the GPS.
Soon, House said they will put up signs advertising that police are using GPS to catch crooks. They want to spread the word about the program to prevent would-be crooks from targeting the beach in the first place.
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