WINCHESTER, Mass. - A man accused of putting a GPS tracker on a woman's car without her knowing about it has now been fitted with his own GPS tracker.
Shaun Tyman is accused of stalking a woman he worked with at Raytheon.
Surveillance video from a nearby business captured someone trying to get into the woman’s house and also placing something on the bottom of her car.
According to prosecutors, the man who owns the auto shop next door saw the man on surveillance and alerted the woman.
Police say Tyman was the man in that video and he was placing a GPS tracking device on the bottom of the woman’s car. Investigators say he had been tracking her location for about 12 days when he was arrested.
Prosecutors say the device could have been activated as early as 2016, though it wasn't clear how it had been used since that time.
Tyman's defense attorney, Gillian Fisher, noted her client had no prior criminal record and asked that he not be placed on house arrest so he could work. He had worked at Raytheon since 2008 as a software engineer, but was placed on leave after his arrest Tuesday.
After a court hearing Wednesday, Tyman was ordered released on $1,000 bail and was fitted with a GPS ankle monitor.
The woman said she didn’t know Tyman and had never seen nor spoken to him at work before.
Tyman has been ordered to have no contact with the woman or any witnesses.
In the last two years, there have been at least two local cases where GPS tracking devices were placed on someone's car without their consent.
As Boston 25 News has learned, however, there is no state statute that explicitly says that a civilian who does this is breaking the law.
"They're going to have to make up a new law that's very specific to this behavior," said criminal defense attorney Peter Elikann.
Elikann says this is bad behavior that should be illegal.
"I don't think anyone would debate somebody tracking your every move and following you is a wrong thing and nobody would want that done to any of us," said Elikan. "The law is going to have to play catch up."
In May, Boston 25 News brought to you a story about a Hingham couple that found two GPS tracking devices hidden under their cars. In that case, a judge threw out the criminal harassment charges against the alleged culprit, ruling no crime had been committed.
"I think the hardest part is, to this day, that we still don't know and we don't get answers because people aren't being held accountable," said James Daley, a victim.
Elikann says the technology has outpaced the law again, leaving prosecutors with nothing that criminalizes this specific use of a GPS.
"I'm sure in the next few years the legislature, the courts will figure this out and make it clear it's against the law," said Elikann.
Elikann predicts that the charges in the Winchester case will be challenged and could be dropped as well.
The Hingham case if being appealed to the state's Supreme Court this fall. A decision in that case could finally provide clear direction over the legality of secret GPS use.
Cox Media Group