PITTSBURG (KPIX 5) — More than a dozen cameras set up along Highway 4 in the East Bay to monitor crime are already paying off for police in the first week.

They were installed to help stop and solve the shootings on the busy highway. But in the first six days since these cameras have been fighting crime of another kind.

“When we were able to put the license plate readers on, we knew they were going to be a benefit, but I don’t know that we knew we’d have this much ability to locate and recover stolen vehicles, get those cars back to the owner, and arrest the ones stealing them,” Pittsburg Police Chief Brian Addington said.

They’ve been getting so much data, the Pittsburg Police Department has deployed a team specifically to manage the highway alerts. In just the first six days those cameras have been up, the police have netted seven arrests and recovered four stolen cars.

“Wow, I did not hear that. That’s awesome,” Pittsburg resident Nathan Cervantez said.

So the department is going to keep the plan going.

“We want to continue to get those cars back to the owner, and break up any rings and this gives us an opportunity we’ve never had before,” Chief Addington said.

One of these arrests may even help solve a string of burglaries in Lafayette.

The plate reading technology links to the law enforcement database. If a plate is associated with a crime, amber alert, or silver alert, it sends out an alert to police.

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