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Police using GPS tracking 'bullets' to trail cars in chases

The StarChase system allows police to fire a GPS 'bullet' from a cannon mounted on the front of their patrol cars, and the sticky device will help them track fleeing suspects.

By
Gabrielle Levy

(UPI) -- Police have a new tool for catching criminals on the run.

State troopers in Iowa and police in St. Petersberg, Fla., now have the ability to fire sticky GPS-loaded "bullets" from an air cannon in the front of a patrol car. If all goes well, the device sticks to the back of a fleeing vehicle so officers can track it.

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Car chases are dangerous, with the pursued moving unpredictably and at high speeds, and with police barreling after them. But with the GPS device, called StarChase, police can slow down and pursue the suspect strategically. Proponents of the device also hope it means suspects will be fooled into thinking the police have given up, and themselves drive more slowly and safely.

The one drawback is the cost: Each system costs $5,000, and each bullet fired costs $500.

But preventing crashes might be worth the price.

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