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October 18, 2021

New camera helps officers find stolen car, missing person, drugs

An example of the Flock Safety camera. (Image by flocksafety.com)

New technology used in Alexander County has been instrumental in helping police officers fight crime.

On Thursday, July 8, 2021, at approximately 11:15 a.m., a “hit” confirmation was received on a stolen vehicle via the Flock Safety License Plate Reader Camera that is being utilized by the Taylorsville Police Department and Alexander County Sheriff’s Office on a trial basis.

The “hit” confirmation was received on a license plate of a white Hyundai Elantra that was located in the area of Murphy’s Gas Station in front of Walmart on Highway 16 in Taylorsville.
Officers with the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and Taylorsville Police Department responded to the scene, where the vehicle was located and several subjects who were in the vehicle were detained.

Lieutenant Timothy Simms and K-9 Mick arrived on scene, where K-9 Mick conducted an open-air sniff and alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted, where drug paraphernalia, concealed weapons (a wooden bat and hunting knives), and a quantity of methamphetamine were discovered. All occupants of the vehicle were placed under arrest for various charges. Methamphetamine was also seized from a female occupant of the vehicle in the Alexander County Detention Center while being processed.

The charges that stem from this incident are as follows:


• Nathan Michael Wagner, W/M, age 21 of Rock Hill, SC, was charged with Misdemeanor Resisting Arrest, Felony Possession of Methamphetamine, and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was placed under a $15,000 secured bond with a first appearance date of July 12, 2021 in Alexander County District Court.

• Taylor Rae Trimbach, W/F, age 21 of Taylorsville, NC, was charged with Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Misdemeanor Carrying a Concealed Weapon. She was placed under a $5,000 secured bond with a first appearance date of July 12, 2021, in Alexander County District Court.

• Breanna Leigh Hughes, W/F, age 20 of Fort Lawn, SC, was charged with Felony Possession of Methamphetamine and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. She was placed under a $10,000 secured bond with a first appearance date of July 12, 2021, in Alexander County District Court.

• Timothy Mason Alexander, W/M, age 42 of Cornelius, NC, was charged with Felony Possession of Methamphetamine and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was placed under a $10,000 secured bond with a first appearance date of July 12, 2021, in Alexander County District Court.

• Pamela Logan Franklin, W/F, age 46 of Cornelius, NC, was charged with Felony Possession of Controlled Substance on Jail Premises and Misdemeanor Resisting Arrest. She was placed under a $15,000 secured bond with a first appearance date of July 12, 2021, in Alexander County District Court.

The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and Taylorsville Police Department are looking into placing Flock Safety License Plate Readers in various locations around the city and county. This License Plate Reader scans images of license plates and compares the tag numbers against databases, which include stolen vehicles, wanted persons, Amber alerts, gang and suspected terrorists, immigration violations, sex offenders, missing persons, and domestic violence protection orders.

According to the company’s website, Flock Safety cameras are completely infrastructure-free, powered by LTE cellular internet and solar panels.

During the trial basis of approximately one month, Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and Taylorsville Police Department have made seven arrests utilizing the Flock Safety License Plate Reader, including a wanted person from New York, a stolen tag from Wilkes County, and the arrests listed above. A missing person from New York was also located utilizing the License Plate Reader.

Sheriff Bowman stated, “These cameras are used to aid in the investigation of various crimes and to promote crime prevention. This is an example of new technology available to law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime.”

These cameras are also available for purchase by private citizens, neighborhoods, and businesses.

If there are any questions about the Flock Safety License Plate Readers, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 828-632-1111.

1 Comment

  1. JR Smith on July 12, 2021 at 6:11 am

    Impressive!
    Thank You Law Enforcement!!

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