Using Google Earth for crime (and for preventing it)

Over the years we’ve shown you a number of examples of law enforcement using Google Earth to catch criminals and IT World has just put out a large list of ways that Google Earth has been used for both good and evil.

murder or a wet dog

Included on the list is the town of Riverhead, NY cracking down on illegal pools, the “murder or a wet dog?” story from earlier this year, the stolen SUV discovered in the woods, illegal marijuana growing in California and a handful of other stories.

Some of them are stories I’ve never heard, such as their Burglary in Chicago story, which includes:

The burglar reportedly searched “expensive homes along highways” on Google and landed on the Chicago village of Indian Head Park, after which he used Google Earth and Google Maps to identify which houses would be easiest to break into.

All in all, it’s quite an impressive list! ¬†Go check it out for yourself on the IT World blog.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Like any tool, it can be used for good or ill. A hammer can be used to build a house or break a head. Motive is all, the tool itself is neutral. As I comment to my clients regarding Hypnosis, which I utilize as a Hypnotherapist.

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