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Device helps police recover stolen cars

Tue., April 6, 2010

A Spokane Valley police officer recovered three stolen cars in less than four hours Sunday.

Officer Jason Karnitz tracked the cars with the department’s automated license plate reader – a device that compares license plates to a list of stolen vehicle plates that’s updated daily.

The first car – a 1991 Mazda 626 stolen on Feb. 27 – was found at 6:50 p.m. at the Valley Green Apartments, 915 S. Pines Road. At 8:20 p.m., Karnitz found a 1996 Honda Accord at 9700 E. Sixth Ave. that had been stolen in Spokane on March 15.

A block away at 10:05 p.m. he found a 1994 Acura Integra that had been stolen March 17 in Spokane, according to a news release.

The $25,000 license plate reader was purchased in July with a grant from the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority.

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