Island of Alameda weighing license-plate readers at entry and exit points

Frustrated by a wave of auto break-ins and thefts plaguing the Bay Area, police officials on the island of Alameda have proposed a strategy that would take advantage of the city’s unique geography, even as it raises the ire of privacy advocates.

They want to scan the license plate of every vehicle that enters the city from Oakland, and every one that leaves.

The Alameda City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to spend $500,000 on 13 license plate recognition systems, which would be installed over the traffic lanes of several bridges, two underwater tubes and two intersections near city limits. The devices create records of when vehicles come and go, while immediately flagging stolen and wanted vehicles.

The Police Department has four license plate readers, all attached to cruisers. Chief Paul Rolleri said a spike in property crime has shown that more needs to be done. …

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