Published: Apr 13, 2010 5:00 AM EDT

Casey Schmutzler never hits the road without his G.P.S. “It's just something we use everyday and don't think twice about it,” Schmutzler said. “It's so easy to just click the ‘home’ button and there you go from wherever you are.”

But with G.P.S. hefts on the rise, have you ever wondered what thieves could do with that information?

All a potential burglar has to do is get in your car, turn on your G.P.S. and find your home address. Now they know where you live and they know you're not home. In a store parking lot, an expensive car is a preview of where you might live. And if they grab your garage door opener, they can walk right in. “Oh my gosh i guess I better take my address out of there now,” Neal Hellman said.

Troy Bettencourt of the Punta Gorda Police says this type of crime isn't prevalent around here yet, but G.P.S. theft is. Last month, they arrested 3 teens for stealing these devices from dozens of cars. While putting personal information in your G.P.S. is a risk, he says it can also work in your favor. “A value to putting that in there is if it does get stolen and is recovered, we can find out who the owner is, so I guess it's 50/50 whether or not to do that,” Bettencourt said.

The simplest advice - lock your cars. It's almost 90% effective in keeping burglars away. And take your G.P.S. with you. Otherwise, you might consider putting a nearby business as your home add