IoT and Theft
During the summer, my wallet was stolen from my car. It took me about a minute to see that it was missing and three minutes to find out that a massive shopping spree had been underway. There were a number of cards, including ones I’d forgotten about, and eventually, I figured out everything that was in the wallet and cancelled all accounts.
I felt violated, angry, and to a lesser extent, disappointed that technology had failed me. First, the battery on my car’s remote had been at the end on its final legs and I ended up needing to press several times to lock. I must have not been as thorough this time around in locking my car, making it very alluring to thieves.
Then, there was the Tile tracker that was in my wallet. Immediately on discovering that my wallet was missing, I activated it. Today, it still shows up as lost on my phone and I guess no one else with the Tile app activated has walked close to the dumpster where it was likely placed.
I filed a police report later that day and spent the next day making sure no additional charges came through. The police did not give me any confidence that there’d be any sort of investigation. I guess I never set my expectations before having something stolen!
I had to wait for my new cards to arrive and with the change that I had around, I went for a coffee the following evening. As I was walking back to the office, I had a eureka moment. What about cameras at the places where the thieves used my wallet?
The LCBO (Ontario’s government-run liquor store) weren’t any help. Shoppers was the same. However, I got a match at a restaurant where the owner had an idea of who had been using my card and volunteered to provide me with screenshots of the surveillance footage of the exact moment the perpetrators were using the card they had stolen from me to buy dinner. I was able to pass this on to the police.
I received a call from the police the following week. They had found my cards on someone who had had fled after a similar theft was bungled. My wallet, on the other hand, never made it back home.
I’m hopeful that 4G and GPS enabled trackers will become slim enough and have an efficiency that they can be reliably placed in a wallet. In the meantime, fortunately WiFi cameras and cloud recording provide another means of tracking.