San Pablo

High-Tech Tools Help San Pablo Police Track Down Criminals Faster

NBC Universal, Inc.

Surveillance cameras and license plate readers have recently helped the San Pablo Police Department quickly solve two potentially deadly situations: a freeway shooting and a shooting outside a home.

With over 220 cameras across the East Bay city and more on the freeway, tracking down criminals quickly is the new norm, police say.

“If you shoot a gun in the city of San Pablo, the odds of us identifying you and finding you are really high,” San Pablo police Capt. Brian Bubar said. “We’re watching the criminals, absolutely."

Early Wednesday morning, the technology captured a chase and freeway shooting. Police said a man armed with a gun tried to chase down a woman for an hour before shooting at her car on Interstate 80.

“He could have killed her,” Bubar said. “Luckily that gunshot did not strike her.”

The shooting was captured by freeway cameras and ShotSpotter, technology that detects gunfire. Police used license plate readers to track the woman’s path of travel and then dialed into the city surveillance cameras, which caught the chase. Video even showed the suspect getting out of his car at one point to confront the victim.

“We were able to identify him and arrest him before he could hurt someone else,” Bubar said.

Earlier this month, ShotSpotter picked up the sound of gunfire and surveillance cameras captured the act: a man firing 17 rounds in a front yard, first in the air and then at the ground.

“Within three minutes, we had officers on scene able to identify the suspect,” Bubar said.

Police nabbed the suspect and the gun within minutes. 

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