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Gps Tracker Mini Excavator - Stolen Recovered
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A BUSINESSMAN watched his stolen excavator being towed 35km across the south-eastern suburbs to Hallam, thanks to a GPS device he had earlier fitted to the machine.

Knowing exactly where it went, he was able to tell police who caught up with the driver and followed him all the way to his front door.

Owner Bob Chapman, of Gippsland, said: “I went straight in to the computer to check the GPS and there it was, this flashing dot travelling down the road.

“I rang the police and spoke to some officers who happened to be out on the road nearby.

“I could see that he was travelling about 91km/h so I told them to hang back so he would pass them and they could follow him.

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“He ended up leading them straight to a house where they arrested him.”

Mr Chapman, who had fitted the GPS devices to his machinery on advice of his local crime prevention team, tracked the $65,000 excavator for more than 90 minutes as it was towed through Moorabbin, Heatherton and Noble Park to Hallam.

The driver then pulled on to the Monash Freeway, turning off at the Belgrave-Hallam Rd before parking outside a house in Hallam, a 35km trip.

It was there that Casey detectives pounced and arrested a 31-year-old Heatherton man.

He was later charged with the theft.

Mr Chapman said the GPS had been a “godsend”.

“It was a funny feeling watching it all on the computer and directing the police, but we knew we had him,” he said.

“I almost wished it had lasted a little longer because it was a bit of a rush!”

Mr Chapman said if he had not been able to track the excavator, it would have been dismantled and sold.

“But even if it had been sold and shipped off to America, the GPS would show me where it is to within 15ft (4.6m) anywhere in the world,” he said.

“If a GPS is important enough for the police to suggest it to me, then I’m going to listen and, for about $1200, it has paid for itself already.”

Glen Eira proactive policing unit Leading Sen-Constable Peter Stefaniw has urged Mr Chapman to install GPS tracking devices in all the machinery he owns.

A 31-year-old man will appear at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on July 14

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