5 criminals caught by Detective Google Maps

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Google Maps wears many hats. While mere civilians use the app for navigation, location information, or, err stalking people, cops tap the app to find criminals.

You may be surprised to learn that law enforcement officials in the US routinely mine Google’s location data in criminal investigations.

The tactic has sparked fears of privacy violations and false arrests, but it’s also led to a range of arrests. Here are five of the criminals caught on Google Maps.

1. A convicted kidnapper

A 2017 kidnapping and sexual assault case was solved when police used a geofence warrant to obtain location data from Google.

The victim had seen her assailant pull up Google Maps on his Samsung phone. The police used this information to order Google to search for devices that had been used in scenes linked to the crime, NBC News reports.

This led them to a suspect, who was later convicted of all seven charges related to the attack. The offender was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

2. A mafia hitman

A mafia member had his life on the lam curtailed after police spotted the fugitive on Google Maps.

Gioacchino Gammino on Google Maps