What Would You Do if You Found a Tracking Device On Your Car?

It has been reported recently that a woman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, watched from her apartment as State Police attached a tracking device to her car. What would you do if you saw the police putting a tracking device on your car? She contacted the NAACP. 

What would you do with a tracking device on your car?

Transmitter tracking device
Transmitter tracking devices used by police. (Photo by William Foley/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

If you did discover one what would you do with the tracking device on your car? Would you attach it to a long-haul trucker’s semi? Or stick it to the neighborhood grandma’s car that only drives to church and the grocery store once a week? How about tossing it into the local fishing hole?

This wasn’t a random invasion of privacy by the police according to WBRZ-TV. The woman who owned the car had been arrested earlier in the month over drug-related charges. She told the station that after being released State Troopers came to her apartment. 

They wanted information about someone she knew. After that, she filed a complaint with State Trooper internal affairs over how she was treated during the exchange. Later, she saw several men checking out her car parked within her gated complex.   

“I instantly panicked. I didn’t know if it was a bomb”

1950s police in squad car
Policemen seated in patrol car | Getty

The next day is when she found the tracking device. She told WBRZ, “I instantly panicked. I didn’t know if it was a bomb, but then I found out it was a tracker.” That was when she contacted the NAACP.

When the NAACP talked to Baton Rouge Police they refused to answer questions about the tracking device. Baton Rouge NAACP president Eugene Collins said, “It’s bush league. The fact that a young woman can see you doing something like this means you’re not very good at it.”

The tracking device ended up on a pole across from a middle school. The Police issued a statement that said, “Upon speaking with our detectives, this is part of an ongoing investigation involving Ms. Beverly and a suspect with federal warrants. As part of the investigative process, a warrant was obtained for the surveillance equipment. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, further information will be available regarding charges and investigative documents.”

Only police with a warrant can have a tracking device placed on a car

Police car on dark alley
Police surveillance | (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Only the police or approved judicial or parole officers can have a tracking device placed on a car. And only with a warrant. But what about someone removing such a device, especially if it’s your car?

Some courts have found in favor of defendants when brought before a judge. Just because the device is no longer on a vehicle doesn’t mean it was removed or “stolen” by the car owner. If it was done without the owner’s knowledge then it is impossible for the owner to steal it if they don’t know it is on their car. 

A similar case was brought before the Indiana State Supreme Court. In their decision in favor of the defendant, the court said, “To find a fair probability of unauthorized control here we would need to conclude the owners don’t have the authority to remove unknown, unmarked objects from their personal vehicles.”