Two arrested after license plate camera detects stolen pickup

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One of three license plate reader cameras mounted to the roof of a patrol vehicle is photographed at the police station in Dublin Calif., on Nov. 22, 2017. Dublin is currently considering expanding its license reading equipment.

A hit on a license plate reader Friday night led to the arrest of two men riding in a pickup truck reported stolen more than a week earlier, Sausalito police said.

Just after 9 p.m. the city’s recognition cameras detected a Ford F150 pickup with a license plate reported stolen July 3 in San Francisco.

Officers located and stopped the truck about 9:15 p.m. in the 100 block of Harbor Drive and detained Christopher Backstrom, 40, of San Francisco, and Mark Hill, 41, of Avenal.

A check showed the plate was from another Ford F150 pickup, and that the pickup the men were driving had been stolen Thursday at San Francisco International Airport.

Police said equipment commonly used in burglaries was found inside the pickup.

“A records check revealed that Hill is on probation out of San Francisco County for vehicle theft and possession of narcotics for sale,” police said in a news release. 

The men were arrested for possession of the stolen vehicle and possession of burglary tools and booked into the Marin County Jail.

Police said the city’s three-year-old license plate reader system has led to the recovery of 34 stolen vehicles and the arrests of 40 people since its activation.

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