Car thieves caught in hours

2017-09-12 06:00

Three suspected criminals were stopped in their tracks in only a few hours last week thanks to the the Sea Point license plate recognition (LPR) camera network and Sea Point Improvement District team.

On Friday, staff of the camera control room, managed by the Sea Point Improvement District, were notified that a car had been stolen in a neighbouring area in the early morning. The details of the crime were sparse but the controller loaded the information onto the LPR system.

Around lunch time the car was identified on one of the LPR cameras in the area and response units were sent.

The controller saw that there were three people in the car and notified the response units.

One of the mobile response units was first to arrive on the scene as the car pulled out of parking. It began to follow the car while the police were mobilising, explains Jacques Weber, Sea Point LPR project manager.

The car stopped outside a restaurant along Main Road and one person stayed in the car while the other two went into the restaurant.

“Shortly after that the police moved in and took down the occupant in the car,” he says.

“The controller informed the police where the other two were. After a further search the controller identified the two suspects who were arrested by the police.”

The three people were arrested on a charge of car theft and were taken to Sea Point Police Station.

Heather Tager, Sea Point Improvement District chief operations officer, commends the officers for their immediate response, saying “partnerships do pay off”.

“It is fantastic to see the successes rolling off from the LPR network. A project which started with two cameras two and half years ago has grown into a powerful crime-fighting tool and over 71 cameras around the area,” says Weber.

“However, in order to continue to achieve results we need to raise well over R300 000 to maintain and upgrade the system and therefore need the help of the Atlantic Seaboard community. Any donations towards the project will help and will be used to further this project.”

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