NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Drivers are losing their direction in Middle Tennessee by thieves who target travelers and steal their GPS systems.
Metro police said GPS owners can protect themselves. The devices are common because they are convenient and inexpensive.
But too often, police said, owners leave them out in the open and crooks are taking advantage.
Police tried to track down the crooks. On Wednesday, officers took vehicles and parked them in a motel or shopping center parking lot. Inside the car or minivan or truck, a GPS unit sits in dashboard.
Officers watched from a distance and if someone attempted to break in and steal the device, police swooped in and arrested them.
"It's a matter of seconds. It's a crime of opportunity a lot of times," said Metro Sgt. Daniel Newbern. "I mean, there may be somebody out looking for GPS devices. They're going through hotel areas but they're looking for certain things. And your vehicle is going to stand out if it has certain qualities."
Police said drivers should lock their doors and keep their GPS out of site to avoid becoming a statistic. Police did not make have any GPS theft arrests Wednesdays, but they hope publicity helps curb the crime.