Google’s Street View cameras have captured countless bizarre moments over the years.
Attached to roaming convoys, they capture a 360-degree view of anything nearby as part of the search giant’s effort to map Earth’s path.
Recently, police arrested an Italian mafia henchman after spotting the fugitive in Street View – this is the latest on an incredible list of crimes tackled by the service.
The secret drug farms and even the daytime brooding of a 14-year-old boy have been brought to light thanks to this tool.
Here are some of the most astonishing examples of crimes solved by Google Maps.
1. Mafia killer
Police recently arrested an Italian mafia henchman after spotting the fugitive on Google Maps.
Follow Telegraph, Gioacchino Gammino was convicted of murder and then escaped from prison 20 years ago before arriving in Spain.
He thought he had escaped the clutches of detectives after nearly two decades on the run – but the eagle-eyed police were able to track him down.
Gammino, 60, is living a quiet life in Spain, where he set up a fruit and vegetable shop under a false name, the Telegraph reports.
However, detectives tracked him down and managed to confirm his whereabouts using images on Google Maps.
A photo of the criminal available on the tool’s Street View feature shows him outside a grocery store in the town of Galapagar, north of Madrid.
The store is named El Huerto de Manu – Garden of Manu. Since moving to Spain, Gammino has changed his name to Manuel.
Gammino was arrested on December 17, 2021, but his arrest only came to light in January.
He was confused that he had been found, reportedly telling his captors: “I haven’t even called my family in 10 years.”
The crook will be sent back to Italy to serve a life sentence for murder.
2. Dopes Heroin
And it’s not just the cannabis trade that Google Earth has uncovered.
In 2010, three brazen heroin dealers were caught carrying drugs on a street corner in Brooklyn, New York, when a Google Street View car sped past.
Shaundell Dade, Jamel Pringle and Jonathan Paulino were all attracted to a popular trading site.
One of the shots even shows people shouting at the cart.
They were rounded up along with four others in a covert NYPD operation shortly thereafter.
3. Daytime robbery
Even criminals committing crimes in the home have been spotted by Street View patrol cars.
In 2011, a woman’s home was broken into by two armed robbers, who held her at gunpoint as they ransacked her home in Oklahoma City.
The victim, who was so traumatized that she did not want to be identified, said the ordeal lasted more than an hour and she thought she was going to die.
She was devastated when the initial police investigation failed to turn up any forensic or other evidence.
Then, in a remarkable turn in 2014, a friend of hers searched the victim’s house on Google Street View and outside the house were two men matching the robber’s description.
Police immediately issued a call for information in the other case.
4. Hidden cannabis farm
Underwater cars aren’t the only thing you can spot with a terrestrial satellite view.
You might not associate Switzerland, famous for its snow-capped mountains and alpine skiing, with its huge cannabis farms.
But that’s exactly what Swiss drug police found lurking in the middle of a cornfield in 2009.
The massive weed cultivation, discovered on Google Earth, has resulted in 16 arrests and over a ton of cannabis being seized.
Prosecutors allege that the site is being run by a drug ring that is transporting tons of drugs worth millions of dollars.
However, as then-head of the Zurich police drug unit Norbert Klossner admitted, finding the cannabis farm on Google Earth was “an interesting accidental discovery”.
5. Finish the cup
Although the Oklahoma resident had to wait years for her Google Earth justice, a famous robbery case was solved within months.
In 2008, a 14-year-old boy was cycling in Groningen, Netherlands, when two men ambushed his bicycle, his phone and cash.
At first, the police couldn’t help the victim – until he made a startling discovery six months later.
Looking at the location where his own photo was taken on Street View, the guy noticed that the cart that drew the map had captured the moments just before he was hooked.
He immediately called the authorities who contacted Google, asking them to expose the faces of the loggers.
The forced tech giant and police immediately recognized the attackers as two 24-year-old brothers who are well known to the Dutch justice system.
In other news, scientists are embarking on a mission to unravel the mystery behind dozens of creepy baby mummy was buried in an underground tomb in Sicily.
The police caught an Italian mafia henchman who was on the run for 20 years after discovering the fugitive on Google Maps.
One of the The best preserved fossils was found that confirmed that juvenile dinosaurs popped out of their shells like baby birds.
And, one eagle-eyed Reddit user made $2 billion fly stealth bomber on Google Maps.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8186529/heroin-dealers-mafia-fugitive-criminals-caught-google-maps/ From heroin dealers to a fugitive mafia – criminals caught red-handed on Google Maps