ASU Police robot to scan license plates of all cars

  hmmm... every time you drive by ASU a police robot will scan your license plate to see if your car is stolen.


ASU system to find stolen cars
Eugene Scott
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 24, 2007 12:00 AM

Arizona State University's campuses no longer will be a refuge for car thieves.

The ASU Department of Public Safety is installing equipment this week that will scan license plates on and near campus. The two devices were $28,000 each and will be attached to ASU police cars. One will focus on the Tempe campus. The other will scan plates on the Polytechnic and West campuses. The downtown campus will be patrolled by the Phoenix Police Department.

"They will probably be up and running by the end of April," said Cmdr. Jim Hardina, spokesman for the department.

"The scanner scans 100 percent of the plates it looks at, so you don't have to actively look at the cars, and you can keep your eyes open for other stuff."

The scanners can pick up any information that license plates provide, but Hardina said police would only look for stolen cars for now.

"Another item we can pick up is that if there's a bank robbery in Tempe and Tempe puts that information out, we could download that data," he said.

Auto theft is a major problem in Arizona, Hardina said. Although the crime isn't big on ASU campuses, the department has recovered stolen cars on campus, particularly because of the heavy traffic that passes the campus area between Phoenix and Mesa.