Google Earth has become the latest tool for Koi thieves targeting garden ponds across Hull, East Yorkshire.
The region has been hit by twelve thefts in three weeks, where fish and pond equipment worth up to several hundred pounds has been stolen.
Police believe that the thieves are using satellite imagery from Google Earth to help identify gardens with ponds.
According to Humberside Police Community Support Officer Sam Gregory, One of the properties targeted has an eight foot fence and is set back from the road. The pond is in the corner and can't be seen. Unless you were standing right next to the wall, you wouldn't be able to hear the running water.
According to a spokesperson for Google, Google Earth is built from information that is available worldwide from a wide range of both commercial and public sources.
As such, Google Earth creates no appreciable increase in security risks, given the wide commercial availability of high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery of every country in the world.
Criminals could use maps, phones and getaway cars but no one would argue that these technologies are responsible for the crime itself, that responsibility lies with the perpetrator.