GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Police say Alejandro Cantu was caught thanks to the help of license plate readers across the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
You might remember, Green Bay police started using the readers for a trial period that began this summer. And, it turns out, those cameras are helping solve all sorts of crimes.
“One of the greatest tools for law enforcement is that you can search for more than just a license plate,” said Capt. Gary Richgels. He said the cameras were crucial in catching Cantu. Once officers were tipped off where the suspect was, police were quickly able to pinpoint where he might be.
“You can filter down your parameters to search for a certain time frame, for a certain make of vehicle, a certain type of vehicle, truck, sedan, SUV,” added Capt. Richgels.
There are 28 cameras across the city of Green Bay. The spots were chosen after input from the police. Most are placed in heavily traveled areas of the city, such as on major streets and intersections. That was all done on purpose.
“And that’s how, not just in this case, but in many cases, we were quickly able to determine a license plate to confirm the registered owner of the vehicle that’s involved in criminal activity,” Capt. Richgels said.
In fact, Green Bay police say these cameras have helped in a variety of crimes, from minor to major ones.
“In particular, there was an auto theft reported to police, the officer responded, took the report, got that entered into the system immediately, and within 30 seconds, that vehicle moved through an intersection, it was triggered and quickly located and got that vehicle returned,” explained Capt. Richgels.
Another tool to help police keep the community safe without having to be everywhere at once.
“You can look at it as having a police officer standing at a public intersection, at all times, with a great memory, of which plate, on which car drove by at which time,” said Capt. Richgels.
Solving crimes as fast as a camera click.
The cameras are not monitored 24-7. Instead, they can only be accessed when certain information is inputted, like a case number for example. Capt. Richgels said in many cases, the cameras in the city of Green Bay have helped nearby police departments in solving their own crimes.