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Automated License Plate Reader in Virginia Beach helps police find stolen car

Officers received a notification Friday that one of their automated license plate reading cameras had picked up a stolen car.

NORFOLK, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from a separate story that aired on July 15, 2022. 

Virginia Beach Police Department officers in the Second Precinct received an alert about a stolen car Friday. 

But, the department said, that alert didn't come from a person calling in a tip or from an officer seeing the vehicle. 

It came from one of the department's Automated License Plate Reading cameras, a controversial technology that records and stores the license plate number of every car that drives past it. 

RELATED: Highly-controversial surveillance system to be deployed in Suffolk

One of the cars that drove past the department's camera at the intersection of Birdneck Road and Virginia Beach Boulevard Friday was on a stolen vehicle registry. 

Because that license plate was in the stolen vehicle database, officers got a notification of where the car had been detected. 

Officers located the vehicle soon after the alert came in, but nobody was in it, the department said. 

After investigating, the department found that three teenagers had been in the car: a 17-year-old boy, a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl. 

The teenagers were released to their guardians after the department consulted with juvenile intake and decided not to hold them, the department said. 

VBPD said it has filed the appropriate traffic and criminal charges in this case.

VBPD asked anybody with information on this situation to call their detective bureau at 757-385-4101. 

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