Unique Crime Fighting Tool Catching On - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Unique Crime Fighting Tool Catching On

MIAMI, Fla. - A unique crime fighting technology used in England is catching on in the United States. Officers who use it can run your license plates up to 80 feet away in any direction, even if you speed past police at 200 miles per hour.

It's called "Veriplate."  Police who get their hands on it can tell from the street if cars in a nearby parking lot are stolen or were involved in a crime. They can do it faster than it takes to read a license plate out loud.

"Hey, we've got a hit here," said Keith Yahn, NDI Technologies.   

An alarm sounds and Veriplate picks up a stolen car like a Chevrolet Suburban Yahn found in Florida.  Police cars equipped with Veriplate have 5 cameras mounted to the car looking front, back and either side.

"Each of those cameras can capture and check one plate every second, or 3600 plates per hour per camera," said Yahn.   

It gets a clear snapshot of your license plate even if your traveling up to 200 miles an hour.

Veriplate checks the plate number with a 64 different databases and officers immediately know if they cars they see on the street belong to someone else.

Some local officers think it's pretty slick, but they're expensive. Each system costs between $15,000 to $30,000. They think it'd be nice, but it's probably not something we need in the Tri-Cities.

"We don't necessarily have that many stolen vehicles driving down the street on any given day or even parked somewhere on any given day to justify the cost for a system like that," said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department.   

So far Veriplate is only in Florida, California, New York, Ohio, and Texas, but Keith Yahn said NDI Technologies is currently talking with Homeland Security. And the system could be used at security sites, ports, airports, special events, and terrorists targets.

You probably won't see Veriplate in Washington state.  According the Traffic Safety Commission it's not something the state is looking at.