MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Prosecutors say a Minnesota man stalked his ex-girlfriend by planting a GPS on her car and repeatedly trying to get her pulled over for drinking and driving.
Peter Connolly, 40, is accused of using the GPS information at least eight times to lead police to his ex’s SUV. They checked it out three times, and found her sober each time. The defendant told police it was part of a plan to get custody of their child.
According to the criminal complaint, Peter Connolly first called 911 in December shortly after he and his girlfriend broke up. He told police the woman was driving drunk.
At one point Connolly admitted, “I have a tracker on the car; I have an attorney; I am going for custody.”
“The suspect had a child with the victim,” Anoka County Sheriff Commander Paul Sommer said. “And what the allegation contains is that he was trying to have her caught.”
Anoka Police responded and found the mother was not intoxicated. Connolly would make several similar 911 calls over the next two months.
In one instance he had a friend make the call, and in another he followed the victim and gave real-time details while on the phone.
After Connolly’s last 911 call on Feb. 8, police once again responded and warned the woman she was being followed.
“What we’re seeing in cases like this is the use of technology for stalking, and that technology — like every other piece of technology — has evolved,” Sommer said.
Assistant Anoka County Attorney Blair Buccicone says cell phones are the most common technology tracker in crimes today. He says no matter what is used to follow an indiviudal’s whereabouts, the crime is serious.
“Imagine the fear associated with someone knowing where you are every moment of every day,” Buccicone said. “It should be a serious charge.”
Police say Connolly’s ex took her car in to get checked out and that’s when the GPS was found. Connolly faces felony charges of stalking and could spend up to 15 years in prison if he’s convicted.