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LPR Technology Helps Solve Kansas City Highway Shootings

April 21, 2014  | 

Kansas City area drivers are resting easier today thanks to the work of police investigators using the latest in technology to identify a suspect in a series of highway shootings. The Los Angeles Times cites court paperwork identifying license plate reader technology as giving police a much needed break in their investigations.

In March, drivers began reporting a series of shooting incidents on freeways south of Kansas City, Mo. As the investigation progressed, police linked a dozen incidents to the same .380 gun, but they still had no suspect.

According to a probable cause statement, authorities got their big break a week before the arrest, on April 9, when a woman came forward to say that she thought she may have been followed by the highway shooter. She gave authorities an Illinois plate to look for.

Kansas City Investigators plugged the plate number into a database for license-plate readers. The search located the plate on a green Dodge Neon, logged several times parked in front of a residence near where the shootings took place.

Police ultimately arrested 27-year-old Mohammed Pedro Whitaker and are charging him with 18 felonies related to the shootings.


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

From KC @ 4/21/2014 6:00 PM

Come on. Those of us from KC know you can't credit the LPR technology for the arrest. Police had been watching this guy for a couple of weeks. They knew exactly where he lived. The LPR is a useful tool, but it was hard work done by the brains of men that nailed this guy.

TheRookie @ 4/22/2014 2:36 AM

From KC, You're correct. I'm retired from the Denver-Metro Area and now live in Abilene, KS. The KCMO and all Metro-Area Agencies deserve the absolute unequivocal credit for this. If it's LPR then Officers had to figure that out and operate the computer to search. As the Great NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter says, "C'mon Man"

Smgcat @ 4/23/2014 11:36 AM

KC and the TheRookie,said it all

Arby @ 4/24/2014 2:10 PM

I'm sorry for not knowing the details of the KC shooting incidents. A lady comes forward with an out-of-state tag number she thinks might be associated to the highway shooter. The article isn't specific about why she thinks this. Officers get the name/vehicle info from the tag number. How would they know where in KC this out-of-state vehicle is parked unless the owner had already been entered into KC's database from some other incident that either was/wasn't connected to the highway shootings? The LPR data either provided that information, (or confirmed it if they already had it). If it took them a week to make the arrest, so obviously the LPR data and the citizen's info alone was not enough for good PC, so they had to investigate and work it. They did so, made the arrest. I don't see the LPR stealing credit from the investigators. It only provided them with valuable location information which they then used their expertise to develop. What's the big outcry here? Good job KC!

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