LINDALE, Texas (KETK) – New technology is helping local law enforcement track down suspects. It is called the Flock Safety automated license plate reader camera, or ALPR. It’s a mobilized object powered by solar panels with a small camera attached to it and it has the capability of capturing clear images of cars and their characteristics.

“Our technology is able to identify a specific vehicle, get the license plate and get it to the police,” says Josh Thomas, the VP of external communications at Flock Safety. 

East Texas law enforcement put this technology to use, after receiving a call of an aggravated robbery at the RaceWay gas station on South Main Street in Lindale on Jan. 8. Once police obtained footage from the gas station security cameras, they were able to make a decent identification, but no license plate and no leads. From there, they utilized their flock safety system looking for a car matching that description.

“We knew we were looking for generally a dark Buick with specific style rims that were on it,” says Sgt. Michael Lazarine with the Lindale Police Department.

They then learned that the vehicle was reported stolen out of the Dallas area. The Flock system working in another East Texas town, captured a picture of that same car the day after the suspect was seen in Lindale.

Just one day later, “she was in Oklahoma City, when an officer got behind her and ran her plate, they made the traffic stop and were able to get her into custody,” Lazarine explained. 

Thomas adds that this is exactly what this system was designed to do.

“We now have technology that is live in 1,500 cities around the country, and it started with that same simple idea, we got to get better evidence to the police,” he says.

The system has proven to reduce crime by 70% across all 1,500 cities, according to Flock Safety. They don’t just work with law enforcement, but neighborhoods, businesses and election officials too.

New resources like this one are helping our police further protect our communities, but can be used by civilians to help work with police to solve these crimes.

Lazarine finished by saying that if it wasn’t for this system, they would not have been able to solve the crime as fast as they did.