May 25th, 2011

Have you ever tried the dozen or so police radio scanner apps available on the Android Market? I know I have. Listening to all the police chatter was kind of fun (if not juvenile) and I even found out the neighbors were dealing weed.

Well, thanks to Droid-Life, I’ve learned that you might want to be careful before installing these apps on your phone. Apparently they are very illegal in some states and like a few people have already found out, could lead to criminal charges (uh-oh).

Take this genius, Matthew Hale of Muncie, Indiana, who was arrested last week in after an alleged failed robbery attempt. His charges? Well, armed robbery of course… and for using a police scanner app on his Motorola Droid. Police are saying that Matthew got word of police closing in on his location after using the app to monitor police radio traffic. He then tried to make a quick getaway, leaving his accomplice at the scene of the crime. Nice. Apparently, Mr. Hale didn’t know that using a police radio scanner is actually a misdemeanor offense in Indiana and probably wasn’t too happy to find this was added to his record.

Of course, all of this is news to me. I had no idea there were such strict state laws in regards to the plethora of radio scanning apps floating around the Android Market. While the laws regarding police scanners are different in every state, I’ve found out that like most things, it’s okay to use them in your home. Where you can get into trouble is when you take it out of your home and/or attempt to use it to aid with a crime.

So kids, the next time you get the bright idea to rob a liquor store, might want to uninstall that police scanner app first.


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