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GPS tracking device negates need for police chases


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A suspect who Fremont County Police tried to stop for a traffic violation Monday morning ended up crashing into another driver on Highway 115 killing both people.

The chase began when Florence police tried to pull over a 1992 Nissan Sentra operated by Timothy VanHeel of Colorado Springs, according to Colorado State Patrol.

Florence police chased Vanheel for ten miles into Penrose where Fremont sheriff's deputies took over the chase. The Nissan was driving northbound on Highway 115 when Fremont sheriff's deputies gave up the chase after conditions became too dangerous.

After police discontinued their pursuit, VanHeel turned around and passed deputies while heading southbound in the northbound lane. Vanheel would eventually crash into a 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by 57-year-old Daniel Picco of Canon City at 3:48 a.m.

While police did stop their pursuit before the crash took place it nevertheless raises the issue of the necessity of high-speed chases. Star Chase is a GPS guiding system that allows police to shoot a laser-guided tracking monitor at a suspect's car which police can then track and apprehend a suspect without the need for a chase.

Since its founding in 2013, Star Chase has been used in 37 states and has an 80% apprehension rate according to it's website. The national average rate for police chase apprehensions 72%, according to FBI statistics.




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