Robbery Suspect Tracked by GPS and Killed

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Police officers in NYC tracked an armed robber by GPS:

The decoy bottle was among a cache of drugs taken in an armed robbery about 1:30 p.m. from HealthSource Pharmacy, at Second Avenue and East 68th Street, according to a police official, who was not authorized to speak about the investigation.

The suspect, identified by the police as Scott Kato, 45, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., was believed to have robbed pharmacies in New York City on at least four occasions since 2011, three times at the HealthSource drugstore. He served about 12 years in prison for a 1990 conviction for sexual abuse and robbery and spent an additional 16 months in prison after violating parole twice, according to state records.

The police official said the GPS device helped lead the police to the man, who was confronted as his 2007 Jeep was stuck in traffic on a service road beneath the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive at East 96th Street. As officers closed in, the man pointed a handgun in the direction of at least one of the officers; one or more of the officers opened fire, killing the man, the police said.

The episode is the first known case in New York City in which a decoy bottle helped the police identify a suspect after a pharmacy robbery.

The decoy bottles were introduced last year by the police commissioner at the time, Raymond W. Kelly, who announced that the department would begin to stock pharmacy shelves with decoy bottles of painkillers containing GPS devices. The initiative was in response to a sharp increase of armed and often deadly pharmacy robberies across the state, frequently by people addicted to painkillers.

While the New York Police Department was not the first in the state to use the decoy bottles, it was among the first to publicize the program, believing that the publicity could deter prospective robbers. Other police departments chose to keep the initiatives private, concerned that if robbers knew of the GPS devices, the risk to pharmacy workers could be greater.

I was surprised the decided to publicize the decoys.


  1. They were likely counting on deterrence.

  2. Steve Johnson says:

    Scipio, this is the NYPD. They likely wanted their name in the paper.

Leave a Reply