YAKIMA, Wash. - Police Chief Sam Granato showed off the department's newest high-tech tool to take on car theft in the city, an automatic license plate reader, Thursday at police headquarters.
The system is made up of four cameras, a computer, and other equipment that take digital pictures and then run them across law enforcement databases almost instantly.
Granato says these advances are making a difference.
"While we still have a significant auto theft problem," he acknowledged. "It has been greatly reduced in great part due to the grants and monies that have been made available for us to go after all the thieves."
The cameras are possible from a grant by the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority.
Police have had the unit for about a month and are planning to get a second system with a similar setup.