Police scan license plates to detect stolen vehicles

Philadelphia police have a new tool to combat car theft.

City Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says the department is monitoring license plates to scan the city streets for stolen cars.

“We just got 10 license-plate readers that have been put out into the field and we’ll focus them in areas where we had the highest number of thefts and recoveries,” he said.

Ramsey says the readers, mounted in police cruisers, work this way: “In real time, as they are driving down the street, these license-plate readers are scanning license tags running them for hot and cold. I used them when I was in the District of Columbia and the number of arrests for auto theft went up pretty dramatically.”

Ramsey says the readers give police a better chance to find stolen cars while they’re still intact.

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