The owner of a Honeoye, New York company called Bald Hill Automotive and one of his tow truck drivers were able to utilize Google Maps and their quick wits to help investigators track down a man suspected of bank robbery.
Bald Hill Automotive happens to be on the same street as the bank that was robbed – the owner, unsettled for obvious reasons feared that the case may go unsolved and decided to take matters into his own hands.
The only clue that the police had to go off of was the car driven by the suspect – a white Dodge Caliber.
Eric Lang, the owner of the automotive shop commented, “I’ve towed so much, it’s been a busy time. I’m trying to remember, and then it clicked. ‘That was a Dodge Caliber.’”
Four days prior to the bank robbery, Lang towed a similar Caliber from a snow bank – and the customer couldn’t afford to pay the $100 bill. The customer promised to come in the next day and pay with cash, but he never came in and all of his cards were declined.
This lead Lang to believe that the customer could be a potential suspect, so he went through the shop’s receipts and found a previous tow from the same customer. Lang immediately contacted the tow truck driver that did the job, Justin Knapp.
Knapp immediately recalled spending several hours towing a junked car up a long driveway in a wooded area. There was no address for the property, but the driver was able to locate the home by scrolling through satellite images on Google Maps. He recognized the shape of one of the roadways.
The tow took the information to the investigator and within 15 hours of the robbery, 50-year-old, John Burgio was found with the stolen money at his cabin and arrested.
Great work, driver!