Published: Dec 30, 2010 7:51 PM EST
Updated: Dec 30, 2010 4:53 PM EST

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - A Tampa Bay-area police department is the latest to buy into new technology that uses cameras to scan license plates and checks the numbers against a database of stolen cars and other vehicles used in crimes.

Clearwater police said Wednesday the automatic license plate readers were in use in patrol cars after a two-week training period. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said they've already led to the arrest of one person on grand theft charges and another charged with using stolen plates.

The cameras capture license plate numbers and runs them to help officers identify stolen vehicles and tags with registration issues. It will also identify vehicle owners with suspended licenses and arrest warrants.

The system allows officers to process as many as 1,500 license plates per minute.

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