License plate scanners in Paradise Valley help catch criminals

In just 24 hours on a typical weekday, nearly 70,000 license plate pictures are snapped heading in and out and around Paradise Valley.

"The majority of our suspects are not residents of Paradise Valley. They're coming in to commit crimes from other jurisdictions," said Lieutenant Michael Cole.

Lt. Cole says the program, which cost $750,000 and was completed in 2015, has been an effective way to catch criminals.

"Just last year, we had 93 cases with license plate reader hits, in the past two weeks we've had three cases," said Lt. Cole. "There are eleven stationary cameras reading license plates around Paradise Valley, plus four mobile cameras mounted to every police cruiser.

And looks can be deceiving because there are three faux cacti that house some of the stationary devices.

Corporal John Fisk took us out to see the technology in action. He was just returning from an arrest triggered by a wanted plate.

"In this case, it was a failure to appear warrant for driving under the influence," said Fisk.

The suspect was turned over to Scottsdale Police Department where the warrant originated. Fisk says that's typical, and the program isn't a money grab for Paradise Valley.

'We're talking about criminal offenses here, we're not talking about insurance or registration or anything like that," said Fisk.