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'I just know I feel safe' | License plate reader helps Union County Sheriff's deputies catch suspected car thief

Flock Safety Automated License Plate Readers are being used in nearly 50 neighborhoods in Mecklenburg County and seven in Union County.

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. — A 17-year-old was caught behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle while driving through Indian Trail thanks to new technology that nabbed him before he knew what was happening. 

Flock Safety's new license plate reading cameras at the entrance of the Meriwether neighborhood alerted police to the stolen car without the suspect having any idea he was being watched. 

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“The Flock safety system is tied into the NCIC system which is a national database used to enter and track stolen items and when it reads a license plate that is stolen it sends a notification to a predetermined list," Union County Sheriff's Office Lt. James Maye said.

In no time, Union County deputies were at the scene ready to arrest the suspect. Maye said the suspect resisted and hit two deputies' cars before leading a high-speed chase that ended with a crash and his arrest. 

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Those who live nearby say at first they were concerned to hear about what happened in their neighborhood, but we're also comforted knowing that the Flock Safety technology worked.

“I just know I feel safe," Tina Coburn said. "And when I feel safe, that’s telling a lot on my part.”

Flock Safety is typically funded by HOA fees. Currently, the technology is being used in nearly 50 neighborhoods throughout Mecklenburg County and seven in Union County.

“Yes, definitely worth it because without it there would be more crime here," Coburn said.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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