Thieves have stolen a package of GPS trackers intended to track COVID-19 vaccines; Images captured by a CCTV camera
SANTA CLARA, California, 25 August 2021 / PRNewswire / – In an incident that could be considered a prime example of ‘Karma’ being served quickly, two burglars broke into a large shipper drop box and stole a package of what they thought they were everyday electronics that they could sell. The incident was captured by the CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) camera of the nearest building. What they stole and continued to drive for days turned out to be Roambee’s Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers en route to one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, for use in tracking shipments for logistical integrity. The thieves were brought to justice within weeks and all of the stalkers were successfully recovered. For more on this story, including CCTV footage, please watch this short video.
The stolen GPS location sensors are designed by Roambee, a global supply chain visibility provider, as part of its full stack location intelligence platform. The sensors communicate directly with the cloud and constantly update the location, condition and chain of custody of goods in real time at the item level during shipments or storage, ideal for tracking time sensitive shipments and temperature.
At July 6, 2021, thieves were able to gain access to the drop box, which included the full package of bright yellow GPS trackers. Throwing the package in the trunk of the car, the unpretentious thieves walked around for days. Totally oblivious to the devices’ application – and what approached them – the thieves kept the package.
When the Roambee team in the Saint Clare office checked the shipment status on the package sender’s website, it said “Not Picked Up”. The scheduled pick-up time for the day had passed and something seemed strange. After confirmation of the theft, company representatives contacted the Saint Clare Police Department. According to the team, officers were delighted to learn that the thieves had stolen GPS trackers. Police had access to the time location and movement of the package as the suspects traveled 761 miles over a 14-day period around the Bay Area from the day of the theft, before being apprehended by police without incident on July 18.
Vidya Subramanian, vice president of emerging technologies at Roambee, said, “This is not the first time the company has had its trackers stolen. In 2017, burglars broke into our offices and stole GPS tracking sensors, and were arrested hours after the incident. However, the latest incident occurred while trackers were in transit, demonstrating the vulnerability of courier drop boxes. This incident proves that our technology works reliably and its importance to businesses that ship high-value pharmaceutical, electronics, food and other products, requiring a verifiable chain of custody that couriers or shippers typically cannot provide. “
Saint Clare police are currently following the package’s GPS audit trails through the company’s web platform to trace thieves’ routes, potentially resolving further thefts. It demonstrates how effective this innovative supply chain visibility technology is in improving the security of critical supply chains, in the United States and globally.
Roambee provides enhanced supply chain visibility on demand, for on-time, complete, and undamaged delivery of shipments and assets anywhere in the world. Over 300 companies are improving customer experience, service levels, product quality, cash cycles, business efficiency, sustainability and logistics automation with real-time information and forecasting from Roambee. More than 50 of them are among the world’s top 100 companies in the pharmaceutical, food, electronics, chemicals, automotive, packaging and containers, and logistics industries. Roambee’s innovative AI-based platform and end-to-end monitoring solutions deliver organized and highly accurate supply chain signals based on first-hand IoT sensor data at the item level and non-sensor inputs. The result is better multimodal ETAs, OTIF deliveries, over 80% cold chain compliance, and more, including a 4X + ROI on supply chain assets by optimizing the usage and stock levels. Gartner identifies Roambee as one of 9 global supply chain technology companies in “2021 Gartner Tracking and Monitoring Business Process Context: Magic Quadrant for Real-Time Transposition Visibility Platforms”.
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