This is a "covert operation" that should -- at least in theory -- intrigue some of you. I am fully prepared to pull this off, if it's even possible.
There is a chronic thief in my neighborhood breaking into people's cars every night, stealing stereos, money, change dishes, personal posessions, etc. Cops don't care.
A. Buy an iDEN phone with Sprint/Nextel service.
B. Get the minimum activation for $29.99 and $10.00 for data service.
C. Get a $5 insurance policy on the phone, so that if/when it gets stolen it can be replaced if/when I can't track it and the thief down.
D. Download, install and activate AccuTracking.
E. Test and confirm that AccuTracking generally and reliably works in the Greater Seattle area (where the thief and I live).
F. Wrap the phone as if it was a Christmas present, complete with charger, extra battery and car charger. The "gift" will include a bow and card. The card will say, "Dear Sis, It's loaded with prepaid minutes, so you've got no excuses! You better call! Love, Your Brother, Jeff."
G. Leave the "gift" in my car. Let it get stolen from my unlocked car. I can almost guarantee this will happen.
H. I will be taping my car 24/7 with a color X-10 camera that I own.
I. When the thief unwraps the "gift" they will find a "PREPAID ACTIVATION RECEIPT" that says the phone has 5,000 minutes. This receipt will be an elaborately faked ruse to trick the thief into keeping and using the phone himself. The phone's number will be provided, for his convenience. Other details will reassure the thief that "No statement will ever be sent, and no calling record will be kept -- for maximum privacy and security." (I am a graphic artist and can create a truly authentic document.)
J. Armed with video images of the thief and his known/likely whereabouts, I track him down and have him arrested. Or, possibly, have whoever he gives/sells the phone to interrogated by the police when I locate it. This high-value find isn't likely to go far from the thief's inner circle.
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how dumb or brilliant is this plan? How likely is it that it will work?
2. What is the best phone to get cheaply that works well with AccuTracking, since I want the phone to get stolen?
3. Where do I get a cable for software download?
4. I am reasonably intelligent and patient, but not exceptionally so. How difficult is it to activate AccuTracking?
5. Thieves are idiots, so how likely is it that this person will know what AccuTracking is? How suspicious would they be (esp. with a free cell phone)? How likely is it he (or she) will turn AccuTracking off? How hard is it to turn AccuTracking off?
6. What am I missing? Forgetting?
I don't care if this doesn't work completely. If the phone actually gets stolen and I don't track him down, I still have him on video. Plus, the phone is insured. I am willing to pay for his minutes if he is willing to use the phone (even if he gives it to his girlfriend). Any calls made can also be used to track him, as it leaves some sort of trail that traces back to him.
I am diabolically crafty and want to make this work. I want to air the story on local TV, etc. when done. Heck, it just sounds like fun!