Marco Island installs license plate scanners to help solve crimes

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
License plate scanners were installed on street poles at each bridge on Marco Island as a way to enhance he ability for investigators to solve crimes. Credit: WINK News.

Marco Island’s roads are set to become safer with new technology that will scan license plates of all drivers going on and off the island.

The cameras are mounted on poles at each bridge on the island. The software is taking pictures of each vehicle that goes by, logging the date and the time.

The scanners will be used to help find criminals.

“The biggest crime I’ve ever seen is 7 miles over the limit,” said Greg Smith, who has lived on the island for 35 years.

“Anything to help prevent crime or solve crime,” Connie Sperring said.

Marco Island Police Department says the camera software will help track down stolen vehicles, find missing children and identify unlicensed or uninsured drivers.

“I think they’re good,” Sperring said. “I mean, you need to do what. The law says you need to do. People wouldn’t have any trouble, even with these shootings and all.”

While some such as Sperring told us the $60,000 the city spent for the automatic license plate readers was worth every penny, others such as smith feel the technology is a bit too invasive.

“I like everything about it,” Sperring said.

“I’m not a fan,” Smith said. “What’s next?”

Smit thinks the funds could have been better spent

“How about property tax breaks for our residents?” Smith said. “I think they’re bringing in a little more than what they need.”

MIPD already has a success story from testing out the technology: They used it to help the Collier County Sheriff’s Office find a missing teen with autism.

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