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O'Malley promises more funding to fight auto thefts

Thumbnail image for o'malley-serious.JPGMaryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) pledged Wednesday to double the state's investment in license-plate recognition technology that has been credited with cracking down on car thefts.

Flanked by law-enforcement officials in Greenbelt, O'Malley said the state would spend another $2 million in grant funding on the high-tech system in the coming year. The state started investing in the technology in 2007.

With the system, police can scan license plates of passing cars. The picture is converted into data that can be checked against lists of stolen cars.

O'Malley, who is locked in a competitive race for re-election against former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), has sought to highlight improving crime statistics in recent months.

Aides said Wednesday that Maryland's motor vehicle theft rate has decreased 38.5 percent during the past three years. Car thefts have been a pesky issue in particular for Prince George's County, the jurisdiction O'Malley visited Wednesday.

By John Wagner  |  August 4, 2010; 5:16 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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I recently heard about another high-tech system that might crack down on car thefts.

It's essentially a concrete box with a locked door on one end. Researchers call this groundbreaking technology a "jail cell". They claim that criminals placed inside this "cell" have virtually no chance of stealing cars. Might be worth a shot...

Posted by: member8 | August 4, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Police state...

At first maybe it will be used for just that -- then parking tickets overdue or registration passed or inspection 1 day late...

We'll see more and more that police are revenue enforcers not public safety.

Posted by: yell53 | August 5, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

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