Google Earth Helps Cop Nab Boat Dumper

Google Earth has been a huge addition to the navigation and technological world, but we haven't really seen it used for anything other than TED demonstrations and at-home tinkering. But now, the cops are onto the software, and they're using it to track down the bad boys we hear about so often.

According to a new report from Florida, the virtual globe has been used to track down an illegally dumped boat. Deputy Gregory Barnes is the man deserving the praise, as he used Google Earth in order to assist him in discovering who owners a 1-ton boat that was dumped in an area he oversees. A 57 year old male was arrested this past weekend on a "felony charge of littering more than 500 pounds of waste."

Upon discovering the boat, Barnes noticed that the vehicle identification number and registration had been removed, so he turned to Google Earth to dig deeper. He was searching for "anyone who had that boat at the time the satellite image was taken," according to Marc Ward, a spokesman for the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office. A while later, he noticed the boat in a man's yard a bit earlier, and when confronting him, the man fessed up. Now, the 57 year old faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Google Earth saves the day, and ruins a life. It's tough being a digital superhero.