Vigilant Solutions announces today that its license plate recognition (LPR) technology was used successfully by the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) in California to locate a fugitive wanted for identity theft crimes against ailing and deceased veterans.
Detective Andre Sanchez of LBPD’s Identity Theft Unit was inundated with cases of identity theft against ailing or recently deceased veterans. “I had around 50 victims reporting that credit cards had been issued, and that vacations and other goods and services had been purchased on credit accounts opened in their names,” states Detective Sanchez. “I began investigating these claims and found several common ties to a residential address here in Long Beach. Research on the address pointed us to a registered nurse working in a local Veteran’s Administration (VA) Hospital at which all of the victims had been patients. A search warrant was obtained, and the nurse was arrested in the process.”
“Due to the magnitude of the case and the number of victims, the nurse was released and no charges were filed at the time in order to allow a case to be made,” reports Sanchez. As the case developed, it was discovered that the nurse had fled the area fearing prosecution. “We had no idea where she was,” states Sanchez, “and that’s when we turned to Vigilant.”
Searching over 1 billion LPR records available from Vigilant Solutions, Detective Sanchez was able to locate the nurse’s vehicle roughly 2,000 miles away. “We had several sightings of her vehicle in and around Chicago. With the photos provided in the Vigilant system, we were able to verify that it was in fact the suspect’s vehicle. The sightings were at retail establishments and malls, and I suspected that she was probably there racking up debt for other victims. I contacted a U.S. Marshal’s office in Chicago, and she was arrested and extradited back to California, where she pled guilty,” concludes Detective Sanchez.
“Vigilant would like to commend Detective Sanchez on his excellent police work and commitment to use all available resources,” states Pierre Leroy, Chief Executive Officer of Vigilant Solutions. “I am very pleased that our LPR data had a role in bringing peace to these victims and their families.”