BLOOMING GROVE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — The Blooming Grove Police Department has just 15 officers, but size doesn’t matter when the cops are savvy enough to use a hidden GPS tracking device to catch a thief.
With its country setting and bucolic name, Blooming Grove might seem like easy pickings for a professional criminal.
“They look at a small town, police department [and think] ‘we will never get caught, there’s no one watching us,’” Blooming Grove Police Chief Carl Schupp said.
However, the police are most certainly watching, as 48-year-old Anthony Nixon learned this week.
Nixon’s car was spotted on surveillance video after a burglary at a Blooming Grove home.
Detective Brett Weeden worked with the district attorney’s office to enhance the image and trace the license plate to Nixon’s home in the Bronx.
The next step was a GPS tracking device, which the Blooming Grove PD got permission to hide on Nixon’s car.
“A little tricky, four in the morning, myself, the detective,” Chief Schupp said.
The GPS sends a signal that cops were able to follow with a laptop computer. Using the device, police tracked Nixon as he drove to the Hermit’s Road area of Irvington, a neighborhood in Westchester County with million-dollar homes.
Joined by local cops, they busted Nixon in the act of stealing copper pipes and wire from a vacant home. Irvington neighbors give Blooming Grove a big thumbs up.
“Hey, that’s good work,” Irvington resident Geri Hall said. “I’m glad they did it, because who knows what could have happened.”
Chief Schupp said that Nixon was shocked when he realized he’d been outsmarted by a tiny police department.
“He was amazed. He didn’t think we would go through that kind of effort to zero in on him,” Schupp said.
Now, the department is zeroing in on Nixon’s accomplice, who was also captured on the surveillance video.
It’s just another example of the Blooming Grove PD making up with smarts what they lack in size.