A 24/7 crime-fighting tool in Belle Meade is helping law enforcement agencies around Middle Tennessee solve crimes that might otherwise go unsolved.
It’s a series of cameras – 19 to be exact – on poles all around the city that document wrecks, read license plates and can help identify seniors with dementia.
Most recently, the cameras helped solve an auto theft case out of Nashville.
Thirty-seven-year-old Bobbi Faulk was arrested on and charged with theft of property.
Police said it was around 11 p.m. on Nov. 25 that a stolen Nissan Altima allegedly driven by Faulk was captured by the cameras driving down Harding Road.
According to police, one of the city’s license plate recognition cameras catch the car’s tags and instantly signaled Belle Meade police of the vehicle that was stolen out of Metro a week earlier.
A few minutes later, police found the car at the Belle Meade County Club.
“She was there to pick up a friend or boyfriend working there,” said Officer David Wright.
According to police, Faulk told officers she didn’t know the car was stolen.
“Nobody ever takes claim for stealing a car when you catch them, but that is what she claims,” Wright told News 2.
According to Metro records, Faulk has a criminal history that dating back to 2000 for drugs, assault and multiple driving offenses.
Wright said Belle Meade’s cameras are helping officers make arrests faster and, in some instances, cracking cases that would go unsolved.
“We love it when it comes easy like this,” Wright said.
Belle Meade police said at least 90 percent of the cases they are cracking with the help of the cameras, actually started in other jurisdictions, like Mt. Juliet, Dickson and Metro.
It cost around $523,000 to install the cameras and equipment. The annual cost to operate the cameras is $69,000.
Earlier this week, the cameras spotted a 90-year-old woman with dementia wandering in her pajamas banging on doors in the frigid temperatures.
Police said the woman didn’t know who she was or where she had come from.
The cameras, according to police, helped detectives piece together where she came from and who she is. She is reportedly doing well.