Google has been taking some heat lately for its Street View feature, mostly from privacy advocates. This week, though, it’s helped police rescue a kidnapped girl from Massachusetts.
Over the weekend, Rose M. Maltais allegedly kidnapped her 9-year-old granddaughter and took her to a motel in Virginia.
Athol Police Officer Todd Neale managed to track down the missing girl by obtaining her cell phone’s coordinates from her wireless provider. Neale called Deputy Fire Chief Thomas V. Lozier, who worked with him in trying to determine where the missing girl was being held captive.
The two men narrowed down the location of the coordinates to within a 300-foot radius…around a popular intersection in Virginia. Unfortunately, their offices were located in Massachusetts, making it difficult to drive over to the intersection and have a look…so they used Google.
Upon firing up Google Street View, they managed to “look around” the intersection. There, they noticed a large building nearby where the pair could possibly have been staying. Using Google once again, they determined that the building was a motel, and then confirmed that the motel was nearby (this time using Google’s satellite view…is there anything Google CAN’T do?).
The pair notified the Virginia state police of their findings. The police then found the 9-year old girl and her grandmother in the motel.
Not a bad day’s work.
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