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5 Times License Plate Readers Saved the Day


By Meg Heusel

Many times state and local law enforcement don’t have the evidence they need to solve crimes. So in this fight to prevent crimes, Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) data allows officers to find the needles they seek in haystacks of information. In fact, it's been so helpful that Law enforcement officers are not the only ones using license plate readers, but neighborhoods all over the country are catching on as well. 

So, here are some of the ways license plate readers have saved the day.

Evidence in a Burglary, Sandy Springs, GA 

In Sandy Springs, Georgia, Flock Safety’s License plate readers served as a massive help as they provided investigators with the information needed to solve a crime in this quiet neighborhood. 

The residents of the home welcomed their daughter back from college. That very same night, with boxes barely unpacked, an unwelcome visitor broke into their daughter’s vehicle while it was parked in their driveway, stealing a laptop and other valuables.

In most circumstances, this case would go unsolved. However, the neighborhood had just installed a Flock Safety license plate reading camera at the entrance. The victims reached out to the Flock Safety team, and sure enough, they found the critical footage that showed the burglar’s vehicle leaving the neighborhood. Thanks to the license plate reader, the family was able to provide law enforcement with the vital evidence needed to resolve this case.

Click here to read more about this burglary case. 

Solving Car Break-Ins, Charlotte, NC

A park just outside of Charlotte, NC, had an ongoing theft problem that police were working to solve. Within a month’s time, someone broke into several cars in the parking lot, stealing personal checks and credit cards among other personal items (note: never leave things like that in your car, even in the best neighborhoods). There were quite a few eyewitnesses, but without concrete evidence, police were unable to move forward. 

Police found the perfect resolution: Flock Safety license plate readers. Police knew they had to focus their attention on other essential matters in the community but still needed to keep an eye on the area. License plate readers turned out to be the best option to keep an eye on all the cars coming in and out.

Wondering how great of a solution this was? The police were seeing activity on the stolen credit cards and checks that pointed to a bank just outside their jurisdiction. Police reviewed footage captured by the bank’s cameras and located footage of a suspicious vehicle.

By using this footage, police were able to cross-reference the vehicle and its details with footage captured by their Flock Safety camera outside the park. Unsurprisingly, the police found a match. With this evidence, law enforcement was able to make the arrest and prevent the crime from happening again at the park.

Repeat Burglaries, Fayette County, GA

In Fayette County, Georgia, law enforcement was investigating several burglaries that spread out over seven counties. There was one thing this burglar had in common and it was that each incident took place in the daytime. Additionally, the burglar stole a pillowcase from each residence along with objects such as jewelry, tools, old coins, and cash. 

Officers referred to this case as the Pillowcase Bandit. After struggling to solve the cases, police finally caught a break when a witness took down a license plate number from the vehicle that the suspect entered. 

With the license plate information, license plate recognition systems, and historical LPR data, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office found an address where the plate was registered. From there, officers were then able to take the appropriate actions to catch the suspect and make the arrest.

Solving Other Unsolved Cases, Doral, Florida

In Doral, Florida, State officers were struggling to solve several crimes in the area. The Doral State Police Department found that suspects living elsewhere were the ones committing these crimes.

Doral PD began to rely on the license plate reader systems that they had in place. With all the data that these systems provide, law enforcement was able to solve several crimes. In one case, a Doral PD officer ran the license plate of a parked car in a Walmart parking lot. The officer came to find that the vehicle was linked to numerous crimes, including several stolen vehicles and burglaries. The officers could then make the arrest with the evidence they discovered, all thanks to the license plate readers.

Spotting Stolen Vehicles, New Orleans, LA

License plate readers are not only helpful in solving crimes such as burglaries, but it can help officers solve a variety of other unsolved cases. For instance, the New Orleans Police Department first started using its ALPR system in October 2017. Within the first month of installing these systems, the cameras spotted 29 stolen vehicles and led to numerous arrests. 

Flock Safety: Helping reduce crime rates

There are many benefits of license plate reader systems. For law enforcement, they can solve crimes faster because of the evidence that they have on hand. In neighborhoods, license plate readers are helping residents to feel more secure and capture the evidence officers need to help solve cases. If you are looking to reduce crime rates in your area, the answer is simple: automatic license plate readers. 

At Flock Safety, we are dedicated to keeping communities all over the country safe. The truth is, as valuable as eyewitnesses are, there is nothing like detailed license plate information to serve as another piece of identifying evidence in the crime. After all, 70% of crimes involve a vehicle, which means that if you have the license plate information on hand, chances are you will be able to solve the crime! At Flock Safety, our license plate readers capture the vehicle make, model, type, color, license plate, state and an image of the vehicle. The best part about it? All the footage belongs to you! Your neighborhood has complete ownership over the data and Flock Safety does not share, sell, or access your data. 

If you’re looking for that tool to help you feel secure and keep crime out of your neighborhood, try Flock Safety today


Originally published: 2020-02-18 21:24:40