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Chicken Wing Theft Triggers Police to Use Controversial Cell Phone Tracker

They didn't catch the suspect

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Police in Maryland stirred up a privacy debate when they used a cellphone tracking device to find an alleged chicken wing thief, according to Gizmodo. The device, called Stingray, can gather information from the phones of people nearby and is usually used to locate serious criminals or for counter-terrorism efforts.

However, the police apparently thought this chicken theft warranted the use of the Stingray, as Capital News Service noted. An employee of Pizza Boli's reported that he was robbed while making a delivery in March. The theft of 15 chicken wings and three sandwiches, worth $56.77, prompted the Annapolis Police to get a court order to use the Stingray.

Pursuit of the suspect was apparently unsuccessful, but the use of the device in this case prompted questions over whether use of the Stingray may be abused, the extent of oversight, and possible invasion of privacy that may occur with the use of these devices. Chicken hardly seems an issue of national security.

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