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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Vehicle's GPS system helps police nab thief

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Technology and fortuitous timing led to the arrest of a man suspected of stealing a new sport utility vehicle yesterday afternoon.

Police said a man walked onto a Kapi'olani Boulevard car lot about 3:15 p.m. and stole a 2007 Chevy Tahoe as it was being prepared for a customer. But what the man didn't know was the new SUV was equipped with a global positioning system, which was able to track the vehicle after it left the lot, police said.

The description and location of the Tahoe were broadcast by police dispatchers about 45 minutes after the SUV was stolen. As the announcement was being made, a detective who was exiting the main police station on South Beretania Street saw the suspect vehicle in his rear-view mirror, police said.

That officer radioed for help and soon several police cars were in pursuit of the Tahoe. Police said the driver refused to stop and fled toward Chinatown.

During the pursuit, the man crashed into a car and then drove another two blocks before he got out of the vehicle. As he attempted to avoid pursuing officers, the man ran into a parked police car and was arrested.

The man was being held last night pending charges. The police car suffered damage to its door and a broken mirror.

Reach Curtis Lum at culum@honoluluadvertiser.com.