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Caught on camera: License plate reader helps deputies track attempted burglary suspects

Home surveillance recorded suspects, stolen car

License plate readers at the University of Central Florida
License plate readers at the University of Central Florida

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County deputies were able to arrest four suspects in a stolen car used during an attempted burglary in Deltona using license plate reader technology, according to the sheriff’s office.

The four suspects, a 20-year-old and three juveniles, are accused of using the stolen car during an attempted residential burglary, deputies said.

Deputies were alerted via license plate reader on Wednesday afternoon that flagged the stolen 2017 Lexus sedan near State Road 415 and State Road 44. After fleeing deputies on the ground, the Air One helicopter responded and located the stolen car in a parking spot at a Dollar General store.

[RELATED: Sheriff’s Office uses real-time video feeds, license plate readers, squad-car mapping | License plate readers credited for bringing crime rate down in Flagler County]

Deputy Danny Clifton noticed a group walking away from the business and the Air One crew tracked them to a nearby gas station, alerting the deputy.

Clifton detained three suspects while a fourth ran from the gas station. Sgt. Austin Hairston ran after the suspect and ultimately arrested him, with the help of a passer-by who saw the foot chase, according to the sheriff’s office.

All four suspects were recorded on home surveillance video where the attempted burglary occurred. The stolen vehicle was also caught on camera.

Ernst J. Baptiste Jr., 20, of Sanford, is charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, resisting without violence, trespassing, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools. He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on $16,500 bail.

Two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old were arrested and taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice.