Plate sensor leads officers to suspect
A major break in the high-profile slaying of American University professor Sue Ann Marcum came when a license plate recognition sensor in D.C. transmitted a message to police that the woman's Jeep, which had been reported stolen, was in the area, police said.
Officers were dispatched to the site of the sensor on Benning Road in NE and apprehended an 18-year-old, Deandrew Hamlin, after a chase.
So what's a license plate sensor?
The Post did a piece about the technology when they came to the D.C. area back in 2008. Here's an excerpt:
Authorities plan to install about 200 automated license plate readers on police vehicles and alongside roads in the Washington area to thwart potential terrorist attacks, dramatically expanding the use of a high-tech tool previously aimed at parking scofflaws and car thieves.
License plate scanners, also known as tag readers, took off in Britain in the 1990s as a way to deter Irish Republican Army attacks, and police here have started using the technology to identify stolen vehicles and illegally parked cars. A handful of the devices are in use by law enforcement agencies in the Washington region for such tasks.
The new project is much broader, installing cameras on about 160 police vehicles and at 40 fixed sites, such as airports or highway entrances, officials say. It appears to be one of the most extensive license reading systems in the nation, according to privacy experts.
Read the full story here.
Washington Post Editors
| October 26, 2010; 10:24 AM ET
Categories: From the Post, Homicide, Montgomery, Technology, The District, Virginia
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