Virginia State cops have blown a fortune on useless cellphone spying gear

Originally published at:


Wait, what? If it was used 12 times and failed 4 times, it SUCCEEDED two thirds of the time.

Judging from the quote, it actually failed 7 times.


I’m curious to know if the odometer reading on the vehicle is included on the log anywhere, or recorded at all.

Because what jumps out at me from this article is that there is a high probability that most of the uses of this Stingray are going undocumented.


I think looking at the failure rate is definitely reasonable and taking the department to task over the waste. However i think it’s the wrong issue to bring up because what if the device had worked? Are we then implying that if it works then the expense is fully justified? Are we saying that it’s ok for police departments to use these tools if they always work?

Embarrassing the department over the cost is just honestly a shortsighted way to fight warrantless surveillance.


Four arrests! It’s only about $150,000 per arrest. Cheap at twice the price!

Looking at the list, it appears that out of 13 instances, only maybe four times (although the notes are unclear on two of them - I can’t tell if they were helping another agency and presumably got arrests, or the other agencies actually found them) did they actually manage to track down the suspect/fugitive. The rest of the time the target phone was either off, somewhere else, or they couldn’t ping it long enough to tell where it was, or they changed their minds (but presumably after briefly trying and not getting anything).

The irony is, thanks to US crime shows, most Americans believe the cops already have this ability, and that they can do it instantly from their offices with near 100% accuracy.

1 Like

Shouldn’t we be applauding them for only using it in situations when they have a warrant?

1 Like

You complain if it works. You complain if it doesn’t work. You libruls ain’t never happpy!


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.