As an IT pro, it\u2019s not often that I get to tail a suspect, track down a stolen vehicle and provide digital evidence of the thief\u2019s getaway. But that was all part of a day\u2019s work as some colleagues and I kept tabs on the hijacked maintenance truck and ultimately recovered it with the help of a GPS-enabled mobile router.\nIt happened last summer, and I was on the job the IT department of the transit authority I work for when word came in that one of our maintenance vehicles was stolen.\nThe worker on the truck left it running when he stepped out of the vehicle to check what needed to be done at a city bus stop, and an opportunistic thief drove off with it\u2014a six-figure heist given the value of the truck plus the maintenance gear it carried.\n\nThe worker called it in to our dispatchers, who got on the phone with police dispatchers, who notified patrol units in hopes of getting eyes on the truck.\u00a0\nMeanwhile, what our dispatcher and the thief didn\u2019t know is that the truck was equipped with a Cradlepoint mobile router that features GPS. So I was immediately able to pull up its location using the Cradlepoint NetCloud app on my cell phone, and I began giving live updates every few minutes to our dispatcher, who relayed the information to the police.\nThen the truck stopped moving. The app showed that it was sitting at a Sonic, where, it turned out, our crook stopped for a Slush. The truck didn\u2019t move for about 15 minutes, and still the police hadn\u2019t arrived. Since the location was about eight minutes from where we were, a colleague and I decided to take to the streets along with two maintenance workers in a separate vehicle in hopes of hopping back into the truck while it was unattended and driving off with it.\nThe truck with the driver behind the wheel was still there when we arrived, but as we approached, he pulled out of the parking lot and began driving erratically. We followed and tried to keep him in sight, and when we did lose him, I was able to get us back on his tail using the NetCloud app.\nInitially, the thief didn\u2019t seem to notice he was being followed because we were in a civilian car and kept our distance, but when he tried to drop the vehicle off at a garage tucked away in an alley, it was hard for us to keep out of sight. He noticed us, got back in the truck, and took off, driving more erratically than before.\nWhile in pursuit, my colleague drove, and I continued to monitor the location of the vehicle on my cell phone and update our transit dispatchers via radio.\nAfter 30 minutes of driving around town, on and off the highway, and in and out of parking lots (while still being respectful of the speed limit), we lost him on a stretch of road next to a hilly field with sparse vegetation and a few oil rigs. The NetCloud app confirmed that the truck was somewhere in that parcel, but we couldn\u2019t see it, and it wasn\u2019t clear how to drive in.\nWe decided to circle the area, keeping an eye out for the truck and looking for an entrance to the field. I continued updating the police via our improvised line of communication\u2014me radioing information to our dispatcher, who was on the phone with the police dispatcher, who was on the radio to squad cars\u2014something like the game of telephone. Whether it was that makeshift connection or something else, the police still hadn\u2019t shown up. But our colleagues from the maintenance team found a dirt road concealed from view by trees that led into the field. They drove in hoping to find the truck.\nA few minutes later they radioed that they\u2019d found it along with 20 to 30 chopped-up vehicles and a few trailer homes in the middle of a clearing that wasn\u2019t visible from the road because it was hidden by hills and tall bushes.\nOur stolen vehicle was undamaged and had the unfinished Sonic Slush, still cold, in the cupholder.\nThe thief had fled on foot, but about a week later, police caught up with him and arrested him as he was getting on a bus. I don\u2019t know what happened to him after that, but the transit authority provided police with video of the suspect and parts of the chase that were recorded by surveillance cameras mounted on our buses and trucks around the city.\nThe chase was exhilarating, albeit foolhardy, and made possible through an unexpected use of the Cradlepoint router\u2019s GPS.