MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — Over the weekend, 11 cars were burglarized at a Catholic church in Mt. Juliet. Police said the suspects were driving a stolen car out of Clarksville and later dumped the vehicle in Nashville. 

Mt. Juliet authorities said this is a reoccurring crime trend.

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“We’ve had dangerous violent people that just hijacked a car and came through our community and our officers were able to make an arrest off of that,” said Capt. Tyler Chandler with the Mt. Juliet Police Department. 

According to Chandler, The Guardian Shield license plate reader program is one of the most important tools when it comes to fighting crime.

“Today, we have over 50 systems that are always on the lookout, watching for stolen vehicles, stolen plates, wanted people,” he added.

According to recent stats, since the rollout of the LPRs in 2020, 152 stolen vehicles have been recovered along with 66 stolen plates. Meanwhile, 109 wanted people have been arrested. 

“Of the 253 original alerts of the LPRS program, only 11 of those were related to Mt. Juliet,” Chandler said.

In addition, up to 99% of arrests made through LPR hits are coming from out of town, he said, addding, “The majority of arrests that our officers make are not Mt. Juliet residents. Typically, it is out of Nashville.”

He said about 76% of those arrested have a Nashville address.  

“That’s just the nature of it. Our community is right next to the city of Nashville, and the crime rate is just higher,” Chandler explained. 

However, he said he’s seen drastic improvements in other areas thanks to the LPR cameras.

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“Our crimes against property have dropped very significantly, almost to 40% less vehicle burglaries that we saw before we had the system in place,” said Chandler.