Live location apps may have become the police's new best friend, and any suspect's worst nightmare.
Police in Barre, Vermont, persuaded an arson suspect's son to share his father's live location the night of a factory fire. The Life360 app disclosed that the suspect had been at the location of the fire, his ex-employer's factory.
Family tracking app
After a factory went on fire in Barre, Vermont, destroying millions of dollars' worth of property, authorities suspected it was arson. Police had their eye on one particular man, Glenn 'Chip' Hill.
Hill used to work at the factory, and after surveillance cameras found his car parked nearby the blazing factory, he became a suspect of arson.
Life360 is one of many family tracking apps on the market, but cops used the app to trace an arson suspect in the City of Barre, Vermont, by convincing his son to hand over his location information, Forbes has learned from a just-released search warrant https://t.co/eX2VG6BxGh pic.twitter.com/mPyzWi6ATt— Forbes (@Forbes) February 12, 2020
As per Forbes, upon interviewing Hill's son police asked him to share the location information of his father on the night of the fire. Hill's family utilizes a family live tracking app called Life360, which allows family members to share their precise location at all times of the day.
After obtaining a search warrant, the police checked Hill's son's Life360 app they could only see two days' worth of data, as the family had chosen the free version. After asking the family to upgrade to the paid version, which costs $8 and shows up to 30 days' information, the police were able to see Hill's exact location on the night of the fire.
He had indeed been at his ex-employer's factory.
The warrant information that Forbes managed to obtain read:
"Within a few seconds, the 30-day history of Glenn Hill’s and [his son’s] locations began to unfold. Det. Sgt. Ambroz looked at the app . . . and observed that on the day of the fire, January 11, 2020, the Life360 app showed Hill located at Hardrock Granite in Barre at the time of the fire, from 2:22 PM to 3:31 PM."
Life360 is like any other live tracking app or device does not issue transparency reports and it's unsure how regularly they share their information with authorities.
In this case, however, it turns out the data assisted police in discovering one suspect's whereabouts.