Traffic cameras help recover stolen vehicles in Harrison County

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 11:51 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 8:09 PM CDT
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HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - There are many ways law enforcement can track a stolen vehicle, and one of them is a strategically placed camera, or cameras. And when a reported stolen vehicle crosses from Louisiana into Texas, it doesn’t always take an observant state trooper to alert law enforcement.

They are silent witnesses placed up and down I-20, and easy to miss. Cameras are there if you look. They serve different purposes, but some are only looking at license plates according to Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jay Webb. And he says they came from overseas.

“Originally they were developed in England in the early eighties, 1981, for use around London and outlying areas because of the terrorist bombings that were taking place. The technology has now progressed to where we’re using them here in the United States on the Highways,’ Webb said.

Especially major arteries.

“They are on interstate 20. We get calls periodically from the Louisiana Highway Patrol stating that a vehicle has just passed one of their cameras, that is either wanted or somebody in the vehicle is wanted. And then we’ll start our investigation trying to find that vehicle on the interstate,” Webb said.

Webb says the cameras are precise.

“The reader is very quick to notify us. These are connected to the DPS TCIC NCIC system. So it’s a very good technology for law enforcement,” Webb said.

He says there are plenty of cameras in Texas too, pointed right where they need to be.

“It always turns out to be pretty interesting because whenever we do stop the person, they always want to know how did you find me? Look at the camera. The camera got you,” Webb said.

Webb likes to say the eyes of Texas are upon you.

Webb says they get over a hundred stolen vehicle notifications a year, and they or other law enforcement to the west, recovers about 70 percent of the stolen vehicles spotted by the cameras.

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