WHITEHALL, Ohio — Almost every day CrimeTracker10 gets emails about Hyundais or Kias that have been stolen. In Whitehall, police are using technology to help crack down on those thefts.
The number of cars reported stolen in Whitehall from January through August has increased from 82 in 2019 to 111 this year.
Whitehall Police Sergeant Jonathan Earl said the car brands are being stolen across Franklin County.
"It's probably one of the number one calls we are running on right now, or at least one of the more serious ones that are involving other crimes, our robberies our burglaries, things like that,” Earl said.
Whitehall is now using a new camera system to track down stolen cars.
“Our main goal is to use technology to get these criminals off the streets and to keep the citizens of Whitehall safe. There's a lot of different technology we are using at this point, one of which is the Flock Automated license plate reader, or recognition system,” Earl said.
The cameras are located across the city, and read the license plates.
If the car has been reported stolen, an alert is sent to Whitehall police and dispatchers.
“Using this type of technology, it is extremely beneficial. It is real time crime alerts about real time crime that is happening in your city. It's literally within seconds of when these vehicles enter into the city, it will alert our dispatch or our officers and let them know hey-you have a blue Hyundai, possibly driving into the city in this direction and heading the other direction,” Earl said.
In the few months the cameras have been in use, Whitehall has already received nearly 500 alerts, which has led to additional arrests.
“Right now, from early numbers we've run, we are between 3 [hundred] to 400 extra arrests that are associated just with this system,” Earl said.
Other municipalities in the area are using the same system, but did not want to comment.