M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘sans-institute

Reporting: Police on radio scanner apps: That’s not a 10-4

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Police Scanner by Juicy Development

Police Scanner is available for $2.99 in the iPhone App Store.

This report was cross-posted on msnbc.com’s Technolog blog. Read it in context here

Matthew A. Hale, 29, was arrested last week in Muncie, Ind., after he allegedly fled the scene of a failed stickup at a pharmacy.

Police accused Hale of being the getaway driver for an accomplice who was supposed to rob the pharmacy. But Hale drove off when things went sour, only to be stopped and arrested shortly thereafter, they said. Bail was set this week at $25,000 on felony charges of attempted armed robbery.

It’s all pretty run-of-the-mill stuff, except for one thing: How did Hale know the heist was falling apart inside the pharmacy as he sat outside in the car?

How did he know to take off?

Matthew Hale, it turned out, had a smartphone — specifically, a Droid from Verizon Wireless. And on that Droid he had an app that he used to monitor Muncie police radio traffic, Detective Jim Johnson said.

If you’re one of the millions of smartphone users who’ve downloaded scanner apps with names like iScanner, PoliceStream and 5-0 Radio Police Scanner, pay attention:

You might be breaking the law.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alex

May 25, 2011 at 6:20 am