By Elliott Francis
In the past three years, Maryland's car theft rate has dropped 35 percent. Police say part of the credit goes to a high tech license plate recognition program which will soon be expanded.
Approximately 100 license plate readers (LPR) have been deployed around the state in a pilot program. The success of that initiative encouraged state lawmakers to move forward with the technology, which can read and interpret license plate numbers at a far greater rate than the average officer on the street.
"Cameras and computers, that's what license plate readers are," says Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. "Both combine to scan license plates and match those plates against the databases that we have of stolen vehicles, wanted persons in local law enforcement and homeland security databases."
On Wednesday, O'Malley announced a plan to double the program's $2 million investment to $4 million within the year.