To Stop Auto Thefts, Colorado Cops Turn to License Plate Readers

Six Colorado law enforcement agencies recently received a joint grant that allowed each agency to purchase an electronic license plate reader. The devices, which are installed in police patrol vehicles, allow officers to scan license plates at a much higher rate than a person can check them ordinarily – and it automatically alerts officers if a plate belongs to a car that has been reported as stolen.theft-car-4518290.jpg

The devices, which ordinarily cost about $18,000 apiece, are equipped with a small scanner and connected to a database of Colorado license plate numbers. As a police officer drives through a parking lot or other place where cars are sitting still, the device scans each license plate and checks its number against those in the database. If it finds a match, a notice pops up informing the officer that the license plate is in the database and explaining why it was entered. The device can examine 400 plates an hour. Police officers double-check any “hits” to make sure the plate was read correctly and take action if needed.

Officers in Longmont, Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, and the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office say the device has made it much easier to locate Colorado stolen vehicles. It also alerts them if a registered sex offender’s vehicle is parked too close to a prohibited area, or if the vehicle’s owner has a restricted or suspended driver’s license.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a theft crime in Colorado, you need a dedicated Colorado theft defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we fight to protect the rights of every client, as well as to seek the best possible outcome in court. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (719) 475-2555.

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