The two alleged Boston Marathon bombers, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were tracked by the police thanks to Mercedes’ factory-installed GPS system, according to a report from Autonews. The two suspects made the mistake of carjacking a 2013 Mercedes-Benz M Class that was fitted with this technology, so when the driver escaped and called the police, officers were able to track the SUV using its GPS system.
Police decline to offer more details, but Mercedes-Benz USA confirmed it was contacted by authorities on April 19 during the search operation of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Mercedes was asked to help find the vehicle using the Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance function on the crossover’s mbrace2 telematics system.
MB USA spokeswoman Donna Boland said that Mercedes turned on the tracking feature after authenticating the request. “The authorities asked that mbrace be activated and … it was,” she said, adding that the vehicle was a 2013 ML350, and that the owner’s mbrace subscription was active.
The statement came after last week Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon tweeted: “Just found out that our mbrace2 technology in the stolen Mercedes helped locate the Boston terrorists! Thanks to our amazing law enforcement.”
The 26-year-old carjacking victim has a big contribution to the apprehension of the two suspects, as he told police right after his car was stolen at a filling station that the ML could be tracked by his iPhone and the Mercedes satellite system.
Only an hour later, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was found by the police and killed in the shootout. You can see how the mbrace2 system works in the video below.
By Dan Mihalascu