The Police May Be Tracking You and Your Phone

Recently a friend told me a story of a first hand account of police knocking on his door at 3 am looking for another person.  He was completely caught off guard and terrified for the first few minutes of them banging on his door because he thought he was being robbed (they did NOT identify themselves as police). This is a fair assumption if you wake up in the middle of the night and someone is ringing your door bell and banging on your door. Burglars frequently do this to determine if someone is at home or not – after all, they typically don’t want to hassle with homeowners in the middle of stealing all of your possessions.

Now before I get to the rest of the story, which is quite interesting, I should say that apparently the police are trying to use Stingray technology more and more these days (Read our blog about it here: You’ll recall that A Stingray is a device that mimics a cell phone tower and allows law enforcement to gather information about you by accessing your cell phone. There was an article this week, oddly enough, that questioned whether the older Stingrays would even function on a 4G or greater cell network, during an operation where local police called in the Feds – but that’s a discussion for another time.

police swat team at your door

So back to the story. My friend wakes up at 3 am, he hears pounding on his front door, door bell ringing and he sees a flash light outside his window and shadows. He’s groggy, confused and scared. The fight or flight response is taking hold in his body and he’s preparing to defend himself in the event that the burglars kick in his front door. He calls 9-11, explains the situation to the operator and she asks him to hold. Seconds later, she tells him to open the front door – it’s the police. Huh?!

It turns out that the police had been using an unidentified device to track a person’s phone and the search had erroneously led to my friends front door. He explained to them that he didn’t know the person they were looking for and that he lived alone, but they still asked to search his home, which he reluctantly allowed.

The lesson to be learned here is that you should never let anyone you don’t know in your house for any reason. Period. Even if it’s the police. And second, the police will use any means necessary to find you or someone else if given the means to do so. I hate to generalize here because I’m a supporter of the police in general. But it’s important to be aware of the state of law enforcement these days. Be safe out there.



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