BAKERSFIELD, CA - Another ankle monitor has turned up where it shouldn't be. Last October, some kids found one in a Bakersfield alley. Over the weekend, a local woman gardening found another GPS tracking device in her flower bed. She called to report it, but nearly three days later, she says no one has come to pick it up.
17 News found out the ankle monitor was issued by the the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. They say while they want the monitor back, finding the person it belongs to is a priority.
"I picked it up and I said I know what that is," said Sidney Kelley about finding the ankle monitor in the front yard of her central Bakersfield home.
"It was just waiting for me to pick it up, right in there," Kelley said pointing to her flower bed.
Kelley said she found it Sunday afternoon and she called the number on the back.
"It was really strange. There was no one there on a weekend to answer that call. It was just totally confusing," said Kelley about getting an automated system when she placed her call.
So, she tried calling again Monday morning.
"I called the number and they kept taking my information and they started calling me Agent Kelley. And, I said, no, I'm not an agent. And, he said well who are you? And, I said I'm just a private citizen that found this in my flower bed. And he said, awe man," said Kelley of the conversation.
On Wednesday morning, she's wondering all this time later, why the monitor was still sitting in her stone centerpiece, not picked up.
Luis Patiño is with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. "The issue of the GPS monitoring devices are secondary to public safety," said Patiño.
Patiño says the monitors are designed to send an alert if they are tampered with and they got that alert the same day Kelley found it in her flower bed.
"The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation issued a warrant for the parolee's arrest within one hour of the alert, that there was a problem with the strap on April 21st," said Patiño.
He says that warrant is still outstanding. And, Patiño says along with the phone number on the back of every device is a serial number that links the monitor to the suspect. That's the important information Kelley passed along by placing her call. He says more important than getting the device itself back into the system quickly, is finding the person it belongs on.
"Again, you know, getting the GPS monitor itself is secondary to solving the case," said Patiño.
After 17 News contacted the Sheriff's office when working on this story, they sent a deputy out the same afternoon to get the monitor and they will return it to the state.