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New cameras in Whitehall help police find stolen vehicles

The cameras are designed to track license plates and have helped police find stolen vehicles through an alert.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — New cameras in Whitehall are being used to track down stolen cars, and are helping police put suspected thieves in jail.

The cameras, designed by Atlanta-based company, Flock Safety, are used to track license plates, and are just one way the Whitehall Division of Police is hoping to solve the rising number of stolen cars in the area.

This week, police said four stolen vehicles were recovered thanks to the cameras.

On Wednesday, Whitehall police were notified of a stolen vehicle after it was detected by a Flock camera. Officers traced the stolen Kia to Walmart on East Main Street where they were able to apprehend three of the four teenagers who were traveling in the car.

All three teenagers were charged with receiving stolen property.

Whitehall Police Sergeant Jonathan Earl said the city has had so many camera hits on stolen cars, his officers can't track them all down.

“Daily we are getting these Flock hits, but rarely do we get this many where we are successfully making arrests of people inside the stolen cars,” he said.

In another incident on Wednesday, a Flock camera alerted officers to a stolen Subaru headed eastbound on East Broad Street from Maplewood Avenue. The 18-year-old driver led police cruisers to the 5900 block of East Main Street where detectives were able to box him in.

Officers say they found a handgun in his waistline that was also reported stolen. 

The driver was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property, improper handling and carrying concealed weapons.

Earl said when it comes to public safety, the cameras are doing their jobs.

“They paid off fully. Not only are these suspects using these cars to steal cars, but to use them to commit other crimes,” Earl said.

Several other departments are following suit and investing in cameras to patrol the streets. Genoa Township has them and Newark is currently considering them.

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