Use of Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) helps officers locate stolen vehicle

Ofc. Teresa Fuller

Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 8 a.m.

The Spokane Police Department’s recent purchase of Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) helped to recover a stolen car last Thursday, August 8th and led to the arrest of 22 year old Steven M. Anderson. ALPRs have been in use by the Spokane Police Department since 2009 and two more were recently purchased for the department. In just this quarter, ALPRs have helped to recover 30 stolen vehicles. During the same time frame, use of the technology also provided information leading to seven arrests for various charges including vehicle theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.

The vehicle recovered on August 8th was reported as stolen on July 29th. Using information from SPD Crime Analysts, two patrol officers had been focusing on a specific area. While working patrol in that area, they saw a vehicle partially blocking Mission Ave. near South Riverton. As they passed, the ALPR read the plate and came back with the stolen vehicle hit. The officers confirmed this information through dispatch and got the vehicle stopped at Mission and Marshall.

Anderson fled on foot, but was quickly apprehended without further incident. He was booked into Spokane County Jail for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle.

This example demonstrates the efficiency of ALPRs used by SPD to identify and recover stolen vehicles and ultimately arrest vehicle thieves.

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