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Cape Coral, Naples to add license plate readers

To keep you safe, police for Cape Coral and Naples will put license plate readers on the entrances and exits to the city, creating an eye on tens of thousands of cars.

In the instance that you or a family member goes missing, police could use the plate reader to find the matching license plate and then track down the car.

“Well, it’s a lot easier for them to track people find out where anybody’s gone missing and I think that’s a great idea in my opinion,” said Cape Coral resident, Cathy Bell.

And missing persons cases aren’t the only thing the readers can help with, The Cape Coral Police Department says in the past couple of years, the number of cars stolen in the City has increased by 14 percent.

These new cameras could become a considerable asset in tracking down the stolen vehicles.

“Well, if a vehicle drives by the license plate reader, it will automatically send a notification to the police department that a stolen vehicle went by it and we’ll get a location where they’re at,” said CCPD Master Sargeant Patrick O’Grady. “And we will send units to that area.”

As of now, Cape Coral only has ten stationary cameras and two moving cameras that are placed in officer’s cars. There was no mention of how many more they would like, but they did say they would like to see them placed near bridges and main roadways.

Matt Fletcher, a lieutenant with the Naples Police Dept., said there are about 50 license plate readers scattered around the city. He said it is helping keep criminals off the streets.

“If it’s a criminal investigation and we need to identify a subject and they pass an LPR,” Lt. Fletcher said, “we usually get that job done.”

For instance, in June, a local reader led Naples police to a hotel where they arrested Jennifer Clow for the death of her mother in New Hampshire. Two months later, another camera spotted James Faustin driving a stolen minivan.

Brock Fox and Al Bennett, both of whom live in Naples, each said it is a great idea.

“Anything to help out or law-enforcement and catch these crooks that wanna break the law,” Bennett said.

“It’s added security and deterring the bad guys to stay clear of this area,” Fox said.

Reporter:Nicole Lauren
Janae Muchmore
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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