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Ex-cop secretly planted GPS device in woman's car, authorities say

A former Costa Mesa police officer was sentenced this week to counseling and more than $1,500 in fines for illegally planting a tracking device on a woman's car so he could follow her around.

Aaron Paul Parsons, 31, pleaded no contest Monday to one misdemeanor charge of unlawfully using an electronic tracking device -- specifically, a Costa Mesa Police Department global positioning system device.

On March 18, 2010, officials said, Parsons hid the GPS device under a 32-year-old woman's car and after that would run into her at places he didn't typically go.

After several of these incidents, officials said, the woman grew suspicious. She checked her car, found the device and called police, they said.

Read the full story here.


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Comments () | Archives (2)

Keep in mind that what he did wrong was the unauthorized use of department property, the courts have held that placing a tracking device on someone else's car is legal so long as the vehicle is parked in a public or open area at the time (even in your own private driveway). The courts did this so that the warrantless use of such devices by law enforcement and other agencies would not be determined to be unlawfull invasion of privacy.

I don't see how this constitutes a search and seizure. If they don't open or search for anything or take anything then it's just not a search and seizure. It's a covert mobile tracer, and I can't think of any reason why it would be any more illegal than a stakeout or having officers physically follow someone around.


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