This report presents results from a randomized field experiment with license plate recognition (LPR) technology conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum and the Mesa, Arizona Police Department (MPD) to target the problem of auto theft. The experiment sought to determine whether and to what extent LPR use improves the ability of police to recover stolen cars, apprehend auto thieves, and deter auto theft. We did this by examining the operations of a specialized 4-car MPD auto theft unit that worked in auto theft hot spots over a period of time both with and without LPR devices.
Combating Auto Theft in Arizona: A Randomized Experiment with License Plate Recognition Technology
National Institute of Justice and Police Executive Research Forum