License plate reader helps police catch Lindale robbery suspect

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Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 11:24 PM CST
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LINDALE, Texas (KLTV) - When it comes to investigating crime, a vehicle’s license plate can provide law enforcement with invaluable information to track down suspects. An East Texas police department did just that, utilizing a special system which led to the arrest of a robbery suspect a state away.

On January 8, Lindale police responded to the report of an aggravated robbery at the Raceway gas station on South Main Street. Surveillance footage from the crime scene helped police determine what kind of vehicle the suspect was driving. And with that information, police turned to a special system in order to find and detect the suspect.

“We utilize a camera system by the name of Flock Safety; we’ve got a few of those cameras around town and it’s just a license plate reader so it’s visualizing anything that comes past its cameras,” said Sgt. Mike Lazarine with the Lindale Police Department. “It’s accessing a database to let us know if that vehicle was stolen.”

And stolen it was, out of Balch Springs in the Dallas area. The same system also detected the vehicle in Paris, Texas the next day. The Vice President of External Communications at Flock Safety, Josh Thomas, said this crime is exactly the kind of thing the system was made for.

“To know this technology is helping stop a violent offender and get illegal weapons off the street, it’s nothing more rewarding than that for us as technologists,” he said.

Thanks to this technology, the vehicle was found in Oklahoma City and the suspect was arrested on January 10. Thomas says the company has high hopes for what this system will do to help prevent crime around the country.

“Our goal is to across the country continue to see adoption of this kind of technology within a thoughtful, ethical framework; we believe with that being the case, we’re going to reduce crime in America by about 25 percent over the next three years,” he said.

Thomas says the technology will give police departments better evidence in cases of crime and also help them have the right policies in place to protect citizens’ civil liberties.

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