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License plate readers help track Bellevue dad in California

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 4:42 PM CDT
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - A license plate reader halfway across the country helped lead investigators to the father of two children who were found dead in a Bellevue home on Sunday.

Detectives got a hit of his blue Mazada going by a license plate reader in Reno, Nev. Adam Price’s SUV reportedly went through Reno late morning Saturday.

It’s 20 hours from Bellevue to Reno, so that means he was likely on the road, at the latest, Friday afternoon with the children still in the house. Their mother had trouble reaching Theodore and Emily on Facetime on Thursday night.

License plate readers are often affixed to a pole and can read several license plates at the same time. The data stored along with a timestamp is available for law enforcement to access.

Once Bellevue Police got a hit, they knew the driver was headed west. We now know that’s where he was arrested last night, south of San Franciso, about four hours from Reno.

“We received the hit almost immediately when we entered the information. We had him there on a Saturday, then we get the date and time,” said Bellevue Police Capt. Andy Jashinske.

Bellevue Police say they’re considering getting a license plate reader to put in their jurisdiction. The issue had been talked about before with command staff, and this case sort of solidified the importance of the equipment.

Nationally, civil rights groups have questioned that the technology can be abused without guardrails and invade our privacy. Especially if the tracking information of innocent motorists is shared and stored indefinitely.

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