BELLE MEADE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Belle Meade Police use license plate recognition technology to once again locate a stolen car, arrest two suspects, and take drugs off the street.
It began on September 10 when police say an Amazon delivery driver, making his rounds, left his key in the ignition and his car running.
The car was stolen and for two weeks, its whereabouts were unknown. That is until Saturday night when the car registered on LPR cameras in Belle Meade.
Around 10:15 p.m., multiple officers track the stolen Nissan, driven by Ernest Robertson and passenger Marquise Haynes.
According to Belle Meade police, after being arrested, the 23-year-old driver tried to explain that he didn’t steal the car.
Chief Chuck Williams chuckled saying, “He said I didn’t steal a car. The keys were in the ignition. We were tired of walking.”
During the arrest, the 22-year-old passenger, Marquise Haynes, also spoke to officers. The man, who has a long criminal history that includes assault on an officer and aggravated assault by strangulation, questioned why he was being arrested.
Marquise Haynes: What did I do wrong?
Officer: It’s a stolen car.
Haynes: I didn’t know it was stolen. I just got picked up tonight. He came and picked me up.
“He claimed he didn’t know anything, about the stolen vehicle, which is fine,” said Chief Williams. “But he also had a domestic assault warrant, so we took him to jail for that.”
According to Williams, officers found meth in the vehicle as well. “And the driver has a history of using drugs near a school. That dates back to 2014. So these two guys need to be off the street.”
The chief again credits his officers and the city’s LPR technology for helping solve another crime.
“Don’t come to Belle Meade. We have a lot of LPR’s. A lot of technology. And a lot of officers who will definitely take you to jail if you commit a crime.”
Police also warn against leaving your cars unlocked and the keys in the ignition.
The driver, Ernest Robertson, is in the Metro jail under a $25,000 bond.
The passenger, Marquise Haynes, posted a $3,500 bond on his outstanding domestic violence charge.