Police using license plate scanning cameras in search for burglary suspect

PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WMBF) - For the first time since they were installed, police in Pawleys Island are using new license plate scanning cameras to try and catch the suspect wanted in connection to a break-in at a home.

Police said on Nov. 15, a man was caught on surveillance camera at a home in the moments before he broke into the home and stole three televisions. Pawleys Island Police Chief Michael Fanning said there is reason to believe someone may have helped in the burglary because one of the televisions had a 60 inch screen and may be too much for one person to carry.

The police department synced up the surveillance camera image from the home with the images of license plates scanned around the same time by the cameras located on the two causeways leading to the island.

Fanning said that helped narrow the search down from about a 100 cars to about a dozen or so.

"We can check who should be here who is here, and we can narrow it down from there and it's just one tool of many," added Fanning. "I know it's not a great image but someone may turn around and say oh that looks like so and so."

Longtime Pawleys Island homeowner Steve Ishmael said it is not uncommon to hear of small theft or crimes happening in the area and is glad the cameras are helping.

"It's pretty advantageous at least for police and in turn the home owners," said Ishmael. "It's some sort of deterrent and any kind of deterrent is a good deterrent."

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