ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Police in St. Louis continue to go high-tech to catch criminals.

Captain Kenneth Kegel said officers in three districts are making use of license plate recognition devices, or LPRs.

Cameras mounted on police cruisers continually take snap-shots of license plates and store the photos on a computer. If a reported stolen vehicle is detected, the officer hears an alarm.

“If they get a hit on a vehicle, it gives a little alarm sound in the car and it will show the license plate number and type of car that they can look for,” Kegel said.

Discussing one instance in which the device aided police, Kegel said an officer was busy with something else when an alarm went off and “he quickly noted the vehicle, direction of travel and sent it out to the other officers.” It turned out to be a stolen vehicle.

Area police have also caught a carjacking suspect and have made an arrest in a shooting case using the devices.

Kegel said the LPR devices could eventually be used in stationery locations. Police could record license plates all night and then review them later if a crime occurs in the area.


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