Auto and motorcycle theft is big business, no surprise there. Sometimes it’s a professional job, sometimes a joyride, sometimes part of some other crime but recognizing a stolen vehicle quickly among the hundreds of thousands a police car encounters is one tough job.
Help is on the way, the Mobile Plate Hunter 900, even sounds high tech and it is. It’s a product of Remington-Elsag Law Enforcement Systems, a partnership between Remington, the firearms company and Elsag, an Italian company that developed high speed character recognition systems for the post office. Adapting their system to work on a patrol car, it can read a license plate at normal patrol speeds, check it against a computer database of stolen vehicles and notify the officers if there is a positive match. Officers manually confirm the match before stopping the car. It has been tested in Ohio and is currently being tested in Los Angeles, California and it is currently installed and in use in Italy and other countries.
High rates of crime in any area lead to the need to respond in an effective way. Whenever tested, this system has resulted in the recovery of many stolen vehicles and the arrest of many thieves and other criminals. It’s a good use of technology.