The world exploration side of Google Maps, which allows anyone to closely inspect a specific location from the comfort of their own homes, was used by a couple of thieves from Maharashtra, India to break into houses in Belgavi.
And the whole thing worked pretty seamlessly. All the burglars had to do was launch Google Maps, zoom in to the maximum level, and then inspect the properties to seek new targets. Once found, the houses they wanted to break in were monitored for a few days and using Google Maps, they inspected the neighborhood to plan their hits.
According to local media, the duo, which has already been arrested, managed to break into several houses to steal jewelry and even a car before eventually being arrested by the Indian police.
“They would find houses in the outskirts of the city and visit the area and observe a few homes which are locked and vacant for many days. As per preliminary probe, both robbed jewelry from three houses,” Crime Branch DCP CR Nilgar was quoted as saying. “The duo was arrested after a robbery case filed in Nakshatra Colony. They are also involved in a few robberies in Maharashtra,” he added.
Needless to say, this shows just how easy Google Maps and its up-to-date satellite imagery with high-quality shots can become a double-edged sword when used with nefarious purposes. Of course, the whole thing doesn’t come down just to Google, as other companies, including Apple, are investing aggressively in high-res satellite imagery that would become available to all users across the world.