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Scanner nabs unregistered cars, crooks (CT)
WTNH Television ^ | 3/31/10 | Puppage

Posted on 03/31/2010 10:28:28 AM PDT by Puppage

Branford, Conn. (WTNH) - When it comes to fighting crime police will use any tool they can get their hands on. In Branford , they've equipped one of their cars with cameras that act almost like a set of eyes in the back of officer's heads.

The electronic eyes are specifically designed to read and remember license plates. They are Branford's newest tools for proactive policing.

"Our database is updated every day with the Dept. of Motor Vehicle registration files, so this gives the officer an indication that a vehicle may not be registered properly," Lt. Geoff Morgan, Branford olice, said.

But that is only the beginning because police have noticed a trend. This kind of information doesn't just help cops find people who haven't been to the DMV. It helps them catch criminals.

"Many people that are involved in other types of criminal activity in our community are operating and manuevering in cars that are not properly registered, not properly insured, nor do they have proper licensing," Lt. Morgan said.

To show how the system works, Branford Police took News Channel 8 for a ride both on the streets and through the Walmart parking lot. The thing was beeping like crazy, picking up license plates literally left and right. Most of them come back clean -- no problems. But once and a while there's a hit.

Police can program the system to look for specific plates -- think Amber Alerts or vehicle descriptions from crime scenes. In fact, just last week they caught a suspected shoplifter after a store employees could offer only a partial license plate of the getaway car.

"Because the license plate reader had been through that parking lot moments before, we were able to search that database, come up with the actual registration and actually solve a crime," Lt. Morgan said.

Federal stimulus money essentially paid for these cameras, and at this point only one patrol car equipped with them, but they're working pretty well and Branford police haven't ruled out getting more down the road.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; US: Connecticut
KEYWORDS: beseeingyou; donutwatch; guiltyuntilinnocent; lazypoliceman; papersplease; policestate; revenuetickets
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Not sure how I feel about this. To much Big Brother? FReeper thoughts?
1 posted on 03/31/2010 10:28:29 AM PDT by Puppage
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To: Puppage

I am told these systems cost 20k each & this one was purchased with Federal Stimulus money.


2 posted on 03/31/2010 10:29:16 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage

I believe that California has been trying this idea for some time. I don’t have a problem with it if it us used strictly to locate criminals. That being said, it could be used for other things also..........hopefully not.


3 posted on 03/31/2010 10:30:50 AM PDT by RC2 (Keep ACORN investigations going.)
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To: RC2
I don’t have a problem with it if it us used strictly to locate criminals. That being said, it could be used for other things also

And, therein lies the problem.

4 posted on 03/31/2010 10:33:48 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage

“And actually solved a crime!”

Oh boy.. we’re in trouble.

I have no problem with this, until it’s abuse is evident. Because basically it just enhances the senses of the officer. It’s on a car, and not on a pole. It empowers LEO to do their jobs far better.

If it were just mounted on poles, then we have problems. Now at least they’ll stop pulling over my 1984 Brat for no other reason than “It looks suspicious”.

What kinda upsets me here is that CT required all motorists to turn in their old “White on Blue” plates in favor of the new pressings of the Light House plate. This plate is what enables all of these technologies to work. This is the same tech that city officers use to scan licence plates to see who has or hasn’t paid their taxes - then clamp cars appropriately.


5 posted on 03/31/2010 10:33:52 AM PDT by Celerity
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To: Puppage

Thank goodness they are able to crack down on unregistered cars driven by college kids waiting for a summer paycheck, or a parent who put it off for a few months to save up for a new baby crib.

It’s also good to know that there are no other crimes being committed in Connecticut that need law enforcement attention.


6 posted on 03/31/2010 10:33:54 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Now can we forget about that old rum-runner Joe Kennedy and his progeny of philandering drunks?)
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To: Puppage

Proactive policing? No thanks.

We already have these things in NY and have for some time. I find it very intrusive. The good news is that they put out so much Ka radar that you can detect them like 5 blocks away with a decent radar detector.


7 posted on 03/31/2010 10:34:14 AM PDT by perfect_rovian_storm (The worst is behind us. Unfortunately it is really well endowed.)
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To: Puppage

It can be abused (such as by cruising parking lots only of businesses that don’t support the Sheriff’s reelection campaign, or neighborhoods where a particular disfavored demographic predominates).

The database of who went where, for later crime solving (keeping tabs on citizens’ movements) is improper. But I’m less concerned about marked patrol vehicles scanning plates, just like the cops scan for expired or missing registration stickers.

I do support measure to stop unregistered vehicles, and uninsured drivers. That would be especially helpful where illegal aliens predominate, but I’d support the efforts only if they actually used them for immigration enforcement when they found violations.


8 posted on 03/31/2010 10:34:26 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Anything worth doing, is worth doing badly at first.)
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To: Puppage

As long as the manufacturer of the system paid an appropriate and mutually-acceptable bribe to the Congresscritter who wrote the precise specifications into the appropriation bill such that only that mfr’s offering would comply, then I don’t see anything to object to.


9 posted on 03/31/2010 10:35:00 AM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (Voters who thought their ship came in with 0bama are on their own Titanic.)
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To: RC2
I believe that California has been trying this idea for some time.

Not at the state level. However I have no idea about small localities in far flung corners of the state.

10 posted on 03/31/2010 10:35:04 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Now can we forget about that old rum-runner Joe Kennedy and his progeny of philandering drunks?)
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To: Puppage

Guess I picked the wrong day to wash the car...;)

Of course this sounds OK on the surface with the “Hey, go ahead and search me-I have nothing to hide” Set....


11 posted on 03/31/2010 10:35:10 AM PDT by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: Puppage
In fact, just last week they caught a suspected shoplifter after a store employees could offer only a partial license plate of the getaway car. "Because the license plate reader had been through that parking lot moments before, we were able to search that database, come up with the actual registration and actually solve a crime," Lt. Morgan said.

Suspected shoplifter doesn't sound like the trial has completed to conviction yet. "solve a crime" is more than just getting it off the books. Ask those who were wrongly accused of being the Olympic Park Bomber and the Anthrax Letter mailer.

12 posted on 03/31/2010 10:35:21 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
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To: Puppage

Just sounds like more of a money-making scheme to me. If they would stop using it for that and use it for actual crimes, like they said Amber Alerts, then I’d be all for it.


13 posted on 03/31/2010 10:36:19 AM PDT by wastedyears (The essence of training is to allow error without consequence.)
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To: RC2
I do have a problem. First it's reading the license tags of innocent citizens and running them without probable cause. What is the justification for that? If I am driving my car legally and not breaking any laws why would my tag be run? I vote a big old NO on this.
14 posted on 03/31/2010 10:36:26 AM PDT by pepperdog (As Israel goes, so goes America!)
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To: Puppage
"Because the license plate reader had been through that parking lot moments before, we were able to search that database, come up with the actual registration and actually solve a crime," Lt. Morgan said.

How long before someone tries to subpoena these databases for a civil trial like a divorce?

15 posted on 03/31/2010 10:36:33 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Now can we forget about that old rum-runner Joe Kennedy and his progeny of philandering drunks?)
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To: Puppage

Ah, the good old days when I drove the rusty old Chevy pickup with no plates for months and was never pulled over.


16 posted on 03/31/2010 10:36:47 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: Puppage

It’s very double plus ungood.


17 posted on 03/31/2010 10:37:06 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (No prisoners, no mercy. 2010 is here...)
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To: Celerity

The Brat is like an old predecessor to the Baja.


18 posted on 03/31/2010 10:37:53 AM PDT by wastedyears (The essence of training is to allow error without consequence.)
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To: Puppage
Federal stimulus money essentially paid for these cameras...

Well whoever was pushing for this government contract got stimulated.

19 posted on 03/31/2010 10:38:01 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
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To: Puppage

If LEOs put out a BOLO on someone seen in a specific vehicle then yes, it makes sense but the limits on it have to be clear.


20 posted on 03/31/2010 10:38:27 AM PDT by misterrob (Have you tea bagged a liberal today?)
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To: pepperdog
First it's reading the license tags of innocent citizens and running them without probable cause.

I don't think they need probable cause to run a license plate. They're on the outside of the vehicle for that very reason. It's not like they're actually pulling you over. THEN, they require probable cause.

Having said that, I know where you're coming from.

21 posted on 03/31/2010 10:38:33 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage
"Many people that are involved in other types of criminal activity in our community are operating and manuevering in cars that are not properly registered, not properly insured, nor do they have proper licensing," Lt. Morgan said.

Criminal activity like "deadbeat dads", the excuse they use to require my socialist security number when I apply to renew my driver's license even though I am unmarried with no kids.

22 posted on 03/31/2010 10:39:10 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
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To: pepperdog

I understand what your concerns are but, an officer can run your tags any time he wants to. In fact, he will run your tags before he even pulls you over......every time.


23 posted on 03/31/2010 10:39:12 AM PDT by RC2 (Keep ACORN investigations going.)
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To: wastedyears
The Brat is like an old predecessor to the Baja.

With the seats in the back!

24 posted on 03/31/2010 10:39:22 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: wastedyears
It is a money making scheme. If they wanted to stop crime, they'd go near a polling center and monitor for those who have outstanding arrest warrants.

Of course Eric Holder's injustice department would declare that "harassment" and "intimidation" of voters.

25 posted on 03/31/2010 10:41:52 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
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To: Celerity

Those seats in the back with the ski-pole like handles look suspicious..enough.


26 posted on 03/31/2010 10:42:06 AM PDT by Osage Orange (A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. - Sigmund Freud)
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To: wastedyears

Yeah. It’s also old. Really old in today’s terms. And it’s small. And it’s noisy. And it “.. looks like an illegal car”. In other words, it’s a small pickup truck, which is a favored runabout by the poor who don’t always have insured or registered cars.

Profiling, in other words. And I’m ok with it, I guess. But now if this car or this technology is near me, it will at least show the paperwork without them having to pull me over and ask, all the while making out some ridiculous reason for pulling me over just to check my papers.


27 posted on 03/31/2010 10:44:12 AM PDT by Celerity
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To: RC2
This isn't about someone keying in your plate, this is your plate being run against an open ended list of "offenses".

Police can program the system to look for specific plates -- think Amber Alerts or vehicle descriptions from crime scenes.

Even PARTIAL MATCHES can be used to stop you.

It's akin to getting all DNA on file and then just running evidence through it to determine who are suspects.

Time was you made a case and proved it through evidence. Now you are accused because "your name came up" and you have to prove your innocence.

The attitude that "everybody's guilty of something" comes through in the line about how tag offenders are likely to have something else in their file.

28 posted on 03/31/2010 10:45:44 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
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To: Osage Orange; Puppage

Those seats are another reason to be pulled over. The seats are legal in the Brat (OEM equipment) but the state of CT requires an insurance rider to be carried by the car while in operation (Not necessarily while just in use, but while they are installed). Without that rider, you get the same charge and procedure for driving with no insurance / insufficient insurance.

The rider is typically $600 +/- a year added to your insurance coverage. Totally not worth it.


29 posted on 03/31/2010 10:46:36 AM PDT by Celerity
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To: RC2

“I don’t have a problem with it if it us used strictly to locate criminals.”

More than a few folks on FR could get reclassified as criminals in the foreseeable future.


30 posted on 03/31/2010 10:47:33 AM PDT by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: Puppage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9D9f_ySvkA
I think the dogs are on to something ....


31 posted on 03/31/2010 10:59:08 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (John has a long mustache)
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To: Puppage

They show a device like this being used on the show Parking Wars on A&E. The Detroit meter maids drive a van down the street, and a camera scans license plates for scofflaws who are supposed to get the boot. Eventually they’d catch up with them anyway, but the techology makes it a whole lot more efficient.


32 posted on 03/31/2010 11:09:53 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Puppage

Do these only use CT DMV info, or other states also? Is there some nat’l db?


33 posted on 03/31/2010 11:15:19 AM PDT by montag813
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To: Puppage

My Sister in law was in a long line of traffic waiting on left turn signal...cop passed...slammed on brakes...drove over the small median, came around and wedged his car in front of hers. Her driver license had expired 4 days prior.

This was in South Jersey on 73 at Cooper road near Berlin.


34 posted on 03/31/2010 11:16:54 AM PDT by Malsua
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To: Celerity
some ridiculous reason for pulling me over just to check my papers.

Exactly what the Nazis did.

35 posted on 03/31/2010 11:17:49 AM PDT by wastedyears (The essence of training is to allow error without consequence.)
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To: montag813
Do these only use CT DMV info, or other states also? Is there some nat’l db?

Ya know......that's a very good question.

36 posted on 03/31/2010 11:25:25 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Celerity

If I recall correctly, the seats in the back of the Brat were there simply to allow Subaru to import it as a passenger car rather than a small truck, saving a whole lot of taxes (or possibly having something to do with emissions or mileage standards). They were simple to remove and almost everybody did.


37 posted on 03/31/2010 11:30:01 AM PDT by Poser (Enjoying Prime Rib for 58 Years!)
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To: Puppage

feels police statish to me.


38 posted on 03/31/2010 11:31:08 AM PDT by NeoCaveman ("workers of the world unite, it's not just a slogan anymore" SEIU's Andy Stern)
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To: Puppage
One of the biggest government scams ever...

Force the tax paying idiots to keep registering the same vehicle over and over and over and over and over....And hire hundreds of thousands of government employees, at tax payer expense, to process these registrations over and over and over and over....

39 posted on 03/31/2010 11:32:30 AM PDT by dragnet2
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To: dragnet2
Force the tax paying idiots to keep registering the same vehicle over and over and over and over and over...

In CT, we also pay a tax on the same car....EVERY year, for as long as we own it.

40 posted on 03/31/2010 11:34:57 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage
Solution:


41 posted on 03/31/2010 11:38:58 AM PDT by Brian C. Ledbetter (SnappedShot.com: Hated by both Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Associated Press.)
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To: Puppage

You’re forced to pay a tax every year on the same exact vehicle? Lucky you!!


42 posted on 03/31/2010 11:41:08 AM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Puppage
One of the biggest government scams ever...

Force the tax paying idiots to keep registering the same vehicle over and over and over and over and over....And hire hundreds of thousands of government employees, at tax payer expense, to process these registrations over and over and over and over....

In CT, we also pay a tax on the same car....EVERY year, for as long as we own it.

Oh, that in addition to the above?

wow...

43 posted on 03/31/2010 11:42:19 AM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Puppage

My husband is a wonderful, but often forgetful man.

He let his car registration lapse - yes, he was wrong, but he wasn’t doing it intentionally, he’s just really bad at these things.

Branford cops got him on the way to work one snowy morning this winter when he was taking the less traveled back roads to work.

Anyway, the car got registered.


44 posted on 03/31/2010 11:45:26 AM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: Puppage

They have these in Silicon Valley too. It’s getting more and more like a police state every day.


45 posted on 03/31/2010 11:46:25 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten per cent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Brian C. Ledbetter

I was just going post that picture ;-)

I love it SQL injection!!! Wonder if it worked.


46 posted on 03/31/2010 11:49:26 AM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: Puppage

SCMODS on steroids.


47 posted on 03/31/2010 11:49:39 AM PDT by RFEngineer
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To: Puppage
In fact, just last week they caught a suspected shoplifter after a store employees could offer only a partial license plate of the getaway car. Because the license plate reader had been through that parking lot moments before, we were able to search that database, come up with the actual registration and actually solve a crime," Lt. Morgan said.

In other words, they save the data from their 24/7 fishing expedition in the hope that it will occasionally pay off later on.

Oh that's right, "there's no expectation of privacy" when you're in your car. Including where you've been for the last...couple of hours? day? week? month?

48 posted on 03/31/2010 11:50:21 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten per cent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: RC2
Usually each year I am in Davis CA for biking and other items. Their "meter maid" vehicles have cameras where they scan for cars that been on a given block for too long which means a parking ticket. Most of the parking is 90 minutes.

I believe that California has been trying this idea for some time.
49 posted on 03/31/2010 11:54:04 AM PDT by CORedneck
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To: perfect_rovian_storm
Proactive policing? No thanks.

We already have these things in NY and have for some time. I find it very intrusive.

There is a great potential for abuse here. I live in a mandatory insurance state. I got a notice in the mail that said the insurance was about to run out so I started looking around for the best rate. I went with a policy from a different company than the one I was with before and paid the annual premium up front. (I actually had disposable income then)

When the first policy ran out the old company called up the RMV and had them pull the registration even though I was covered by the new policy.

I got stopped while driving home from work about a month later. The car was towed(Even though it was within sight of my house). The plates were confiscated and I had to lose a day of work so I could go to court over a clerical error.

Just think what would happen if someone that held a grudge got into the database of "bad" plates.

50 posted on 03/31/2010 12:00:54 PM PDT by Gordon Pym
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