Vigilant Solutions announced its license plate recognition data and online investigative tools were used by the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center's (ACTIC) Criminal Investigation Research Unit (CIRU) in an investigation connecting the murderer of a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy to a double homicide.
CIRU was able to determine a local address of a suspect which could only be found by entering the license plate into Vigilant Solutions' system of over 1 billion license plates. Detectives were then able to serve a search warrant on the suspect's residence.
Two individuals were found dead in their vehicle near Sedona, along with shell casings from .223-caliber rifle in January 2012, according to Sgt. J.D. Williamson of ACTIC. Police believe the suspect's vehicle was a 1998 Toyota Sienna mini-van with Illinois license plates.
Days after the event, Maricopa County William Coleman, 50, was shot and killed while responding to a burglary call in Anthem. The suspect was inside a van when Coleman and another deputy arrived. The suspect opened fire on them with a rifle, striking Deputy Coleman below his vest. The suspect was then killed by return gunfire from other deputies.
Maricopa County Sheriff's investigators contacted ACTIC in an effort to create a timeline of the suspect's movements and locate him. After CIRU was unable to determine an address for the suspect, the license plate was entered into Vigilant's system.
The information can normally be found on law enforcement research systems, but since the suspect recently moved to Arizona, the only place the information could be found was by using LPR data. Ballistic experts confirmed the cartridges retrieved from both crime scenes were fired from the same weapon.