TAMPA -- Taking a taxi to a commit a crime is nothing new.
Now with Uber and Lyft, if you’re thinking about doing something illegal, just be aware law enforcement will likely be using your digital footprint to track your movements every step of the way.
Magnet Forensics is a company that creates software to help law enforcement across the country. Their website points out the vast amount of data that can be mined from a suspect’s Uber account that can make the difference in cracking the case.
In the series of Seminole Heights murders last year, one of the big questions Tampa Police tried to answer was how the suspect was able to show up and then disappear so quickly from the crime scenes.
Court records seem to indicate Tampa Police wanted to see the suspect’s Uber records hoping to piece together his movements if he happened to use a rideshare app to get to the location of any of the murders.
Magnet Forensics allows police investigators to access specific details about a person’s movements including a timestamp for when the trip was booked and when the suspect arrived at their destination.
The information also includes the address where the suspect was picked up and then dropped off, how long the ride took and information on the Uber Driver, including their name and picture in case police want to talk to them.
Detectives can also see the make and model of the vehicle and unlike in an old school taxi cab, everyone using Uber or Lyft pays with a credit card providing police even more information.
But perhaps most importantly, the data gives law enforcement the exact route taken.
And whether you’re looking at the Seminole Heights Killer or the Parkland shooting, that information can often be the most valuable in making an airtight case.
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