A new computerized system being tested by the Houston Police Department will make it easier to track stolen vehicles – including the roughly 1,000 taken last month, the Houston Chronicle says. Nearly 240 were Ford trucks, making them October’s most popular target for thieves.
The Automatic License Plate Recognition System, which includes six cameras that automatically scan the license plate of any vehicle that crosses their path, has been mounted already on several Houston police patrol cars. The information is fed into a database that will instantly alert the officer if the car is stolen or is connected to another serious incident, such as an Amber Alert, police said. The system, called PlateScan by its manufacturer, California-based Civica Software, frees the officer from typing the questionable license plate into the car’s onboard computer system or asking the dispatcher to make the check.