San Jose

San Jose to Install Network of License Plate Readers to Help Deter Retail Thefts

NBC Universal, Inc.

San Jose is sending a message to would-be retail thieves with the installation of license plate readers at select locations across the city.

City leaders aim to deter smash-and-grab retail thefts and solve such crimes with a network of cameras. The only question is where the devices will go and how they’ll be used.

The council approved spending $250,000 in federal relief funds to increase the number of license plate reading cameras in the city. Some license plate readers have been operating in San Jose for the past few years.

The increase in retail crime has prompted the city to take preemptive action with the hope of stopping the crimes before they occur and helping solve the ones that aren't stopped.

Over the next months, the City Council will have to decide whether the cameras will be stationary or mobile to go to different hot spots. Also at issue is how to store any images captured.

One of the top concerns with such surveillance is always civil liberties and how the information will be shared. The council made clear that any information gathered would not be shared with federal immigration authorities.

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