High-tech cameras catch alleged thieves, stolen cars – KHOU
FREEPORT, Texas – Police caught a serial thief with $10,000 worth of stolen goods with help from license plate readers posted at Freeport city limits.
Every car, truck and SUV going into Freeport passes a system of license plate readers. They can detect license plates, run them through a crime database and alert dispatchers anytime a stolen vehicle enters the city.
It led police to a cache of stolen items last week.
“We got us — what one would say — a jackpot,” Captain Ray Garivey of the Freeport Police Department said.
Officers found a stolen gun, ammo, a crowbar, sledgehammer, an unopened wine bottle, an Xbox, cufflinks, laptops, camcorders and a tablet inside a stolen car.
“The police did their job, and they did it well,” said Vincent Scott, whose car was stolen. “We’re very supportive of them.”
Last week, thieves stole Scott’s car then took it on a 1,000-mile crime spree. Investigators say the thieves broke into at least two homes in Brazoria County and two cars in Galveston. However, detectives suspect the guys involved committed other crimes.
“We believe these guys, no doubt, they’re involved with more,” Capt. Garivey said.
Still, victims are getting their belongings back thanks to a $750,000 camera system hovering above Freeport city limits. It was purchased with a grant two years ago. In that time, officers have caught more than a dozen car thieves and burglary suspects. In this most recent case, one man is behind bars. A second is wanted.
“It says don’t come into Freeport with a stolen car or a wanted car or a wanted subject,” Capt. Garivey said.
The license plate readers do not scan cars leaving Freeport, so the police chief is hoping to secure another grant to buy more.