The target was a national home improvement chain that was hit multiple times by an individual who would enter a store, fill an industrial-sized trash can with power tools, then wheel out the stolen goods and take off.
“We knew who the person was, and we estimated he’d gotten away with close to $20,000 in equipment, but it wasn’t until a camera from a license plate reader caught him in another county at a different store that we were able to arrest the suspect,” said Chris Picou, a 30-year law enforcement officer in the Madison, Mississippi, Police Department and Rankin County Sheriff’s office.
“The LPR reader was vital as we would never have known who this was,” Picou said of the suspect, who was prosecuted and sentenced. “These readers are helping law enforcement not only monitor when there is theft, but also ensure public safety.”
This reader solution is license plate recognition (LPR) technology, using high-definition cameras, is one of the most impactful tools available to deter, detect and investigate retail crime—ultimately improving safety for shoppers and retails associates and vendors.
Picou’s unit has also used the technology in organized retail crime cases, including at shopping malls, retail centers and banks. “License plates have legally and long been used by law enforcement,” he added. “The process is still the same, but now we have technology that makes it super-efficient.”
The dominant LPR provider for the entire state of Mississippi is Insight LPR.
Insight LPR is a full-spectrum LPR company that designs, engineers, and manufactures its own hardware and provides proprietary LPR software to deliver purpose-built solutions to help companies and communities increase their value and safety. Its leadership team has more than 75 years of combined experience delivering LPR solutions.
With LPR technology, cameras capture images of a vehicle as it moves into the field of view of the camera, which may be stationary or mobile. The images are then converted into actionable data using proprietary algorithms. The license plate number is then compared against agencies’ and customers’ “hot” lists for vehicles of interest—those stolen, used in a crime or registered to a person of interest.
It’s the quality of the data captured that makes the difference and when the integrity of information truly matters. Insight LPR boasts a 96% capture rate both day and night with its fixed LPR camera solutions and controls valuable LPR data collected by a mobile fleet of vehicles covering areas not served by fixed camera installations.
“Our LPR camera zeroes in and gets a clear, clean and crisp image,” Insight LPR Chief Product Officer Oscar Nunez said. Insight LPR’s high-definition cameras capture vehicles traveling at speeds of 200 mph or greater up to 130 feet away. They can also capture direction of traffic, speed, vehicle make, type, color, and other important attributes.
The speed with which the data is captured is critical, as in the Mississippi case. Insight LPR cameras can capture a plate and alert on a hotlist in less than 10 seconds.
“Our delivery of both fixed and mobile LPR data is a strategic advantage to increase real-time response and decision-making,” said Insight LPR Chief Revenue Officer Stephen Nethery. “And with our mobile camera systems, Insight LPR has built a significant commercial database in major metropolitan markets that can be used to help in ORC investigations.”
The hardware’s quality also distinguishes this product, thanks to its military-grade durability that protects the cameras in extreme weather. Cameras are monitored remotely 24/7 for temperature, humidity and pressure and can trigger real-time alerting as well as update remotely.
Another way that Insight LPR differentiates itself is the level of service, including customer support and free data storage that is accessible via a secure, encrypted, and hosted cloud environment. There are also product warranties and no unanticipated contract changes or fees, with prices at market rate.
Additionally, Insight LPR is not limited to a one-size-fits-all solution; there are a number of options available around the purchase and type of hardware, i.e., fixed cameras, mobile cameras, and cameras mounted on trailers.
“Criminals are mobile,” Picou said. “Retailers need LPR technology because they can’t put cameras up everywhere. With the connected network established by Insight LPR, law enforcement, commercial real estate and others using this technology can work together to fight and help solve crime.”