Technology aids in grand theft auto arrest in Naples

Writer: Jack Lowenstein

Big brother in Southwest Florida helped nab an accused thief on the east coast. Modern technology helped catch a driver accused of grand theft auto and speeding away from police.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office arrested James Faustin, 19, of Broward County in Naples after license plate readers identified him behind the wheel of a stolen minivan.

According to the arrest report, Faustin led a responding deputy on a high-speed chase reaching 105 mph.

The deputy eventually stopped Faustin using a pit maneuver as Faustin slowed in the van and made a turn onto Golden Gate Parkway. Faustin was found in possession of marijuana and another car key after the van was searched.

Faustin faces charges for Grand Theft Auto (Third Degree), High Speed Flee Eluding With Lights and Siren Activated and No Valid Driver’s License.

“If they’re going to catch criminals and keep us safe, I’m all for it,” said Cynthia Capone regarding traffic technology like license plate readers.

Earlier this year, Naples Police Department installed another 40 more license plate readers along roadways. This has brought up concerns about the difference between invasion of privacy versus protection. Capone doesn’t believe there is concern for a breach in privacy.

“I think, in the long run, we’re better off having them installed and in place,” Capone said. “Because I think they’re going to do more good than bad.”

One of the lieutenants told us the plate readers help law enforcement track many criminals in stolen cars. Law enforcement is working to get a system together to numerically track the amount and hope to add more cameras.

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