SWFL police departments install license plate scanning cameras

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Recently the Sanibel police department was able to catch suspected car thieves by using surveillance cameras that scan license plates.

MORE: Couple arrested on Sanibel for possession of meth, driving stolen car

Police received an alert about a stolen vehicle from Pasco County, when the two were driving down Causeway Boulevard.

Police were able to quickly track down the car and made an arrest. Inside the car the two had developed a mobile meth lab.

Citizens in the area like Ricky Zen of Sanibel, said they think the ability to use technology like this to capture criminals is a positive thing.

“That’s amazing. I mean that’s technology today. Sometimes we think that might impose on our privacy but when it comes down to getting things done and taking down crime in our area, I think it makes everyone feel a little safer, wouldn’t you?” said Zen.

Others, like Shelby McCrackn, of San Carlos Park, say they are on the fence about using the cameras, as it cold be an invasion of privacy.

“Kind a like a 50-50. I feel like it’s an invasion of privacy like they can look it up anyway,” said McCrackn. “I mean I think that’s pretty sheer luck that that happened but I mean like I said that could go for good too. I mean they could look it up like with an AMBER alert, I mean that’d be great for that.”

Police say the surveillance cameras are all in an effort to keep citizens safe.

Right now the Cape Coral police department is using a mobile reader on one of their traffic vehicles, so its never in a fixed spot so that crooks don’t know where to avoid.

The Fort Myers Police Department is currently in the process of purchasing their own license plate reader.

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