New license plate reader leads to quick felony arrest in Ontario
Mansfield Journal News
February 19, 2011
ONTARIO -- A man was arrested this week thanks to a license plate reader Ontario police acquired through a Homeland Security grant last month.
Chief Rodney Smith said the license plate reader was installed Tuesday on a police cruiser.
"On Wednesday, we caught guy by using the new equipment," he said. "It reads license plates as we're driving along. It hits on a wanted person or someone we put in the database we are looking for."
Brandon Orren, 21, of Bowers Road, Mansfield, was arrested on a felony charge of receiving stolen property. Orren became a suspect last week, police reported, after officers noticed him looking into cars during surveillance.
"We tailed him in an unmarked car, but didn't catch him that night," Smith said.
Wednesday, Officer Tony Grimwood was driving on Lexington-Springmill Road, and the license plate reader identified Orren's Toyota. Police stopped him for having only one license plate.
Police asked for permission to search the car and found he had a check taken from a car that had been broken into Feb. 5 in the Cinemark Ontario 14 parking lot on Walker Lake Road, Smith said.
"We brought his car in here, obtained a search warrant on Thursday and have now recovered merchandise, prescriptions, medications, items stolen out of different cars including purses, a camera," he said.
Orren is in the Richland County Jail. Smith said Orren may be linked to break-ins in other parts of Richland County. He expects further charges.
"We're just tickled to death to have this new machine," Smith said. "The true design of the grant is to combat terrorism."