Flock license plate reader cameras help Oldham County Police arrest hit-and-run suspect

A Flock Safety spokesperson says their license plate reader cameras help law enforcement solve crimes all across the country.
Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 7:50 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Oldham County Police Department is crediting a new surveillance system for helping them solve a fatal hit-and-run case over the weekend.

Using their newly installed Flock camera, officers said they were able to quickly catch the suspect at their home.

The camera used was only up for a little more than 12 hours before it was utilized by Oldham County Police.

Police said it helped them to identify and arrest 25-year-old Jose Gutierrez-Sánchez.

The cameras were able to capture his red 1999 Dodge Durango prior to the collision that killed Elijah Torres on West Kentucky 146 in Crestwood. Police said they tracked the car to a home where they arrested Sánchez and took him into custody.

“The detectives may not have had an investigative lead without these LPR cameras,” Flock Safety Spokesperson Holly Beilin said. “So providing the image of the vehicle, the license plate, being able to connect that and follow that investigative lead.”

Beilin said these cameras can be found in 40 states across the country and about 45 cities in Kentucky.

She said they usually have an instant impact, just like they did in Oldham County.

“As soon as the cameras go up in a city, law enforcement begin using them to solve crimes,” Beilin said. “And not just property crimes, but serious violent crimes as well.”

Beilin said the Flock safety cameras are estimated to provide investigative leads and evidence to help solve about 6.5 to 7% of reported crimes in the U.S. today.

While she knows public privacy may be a concern for some, Beilin said these cameras are solely capturing objective evidence and want to ensure people that their privacy is respected.

“We can balance improving public safety in solving really tragic cases like this one in Oldham County with privacy protections,” said Beilin. “That’s why the date is only kept for 30 days, it’s automatically deleted afterwards. That’s why we enable auditing and oversight and encourage really strong LPR usage policies for all of our partnered law-enforcement agencies.”

Sánchez was arraigned Monday and is at the Oldham County Detention Center with a bond set at $100,000.

He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to render aid or assistance, failure to report a traffic accident, and manslaughter 2nd degree.