NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — An elderly man was found safe and sound Sunday afternoon thanks to a Silver Alert, license plate reader (LPR) technology, and a Belle Meade officer.
The Metro Nashville Police Department announced Srikrishna Ballal was missing just after 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 7.
According to police, Ballal — who has dementia — left his home around 8 a.m. that day, driving a 2013 silver Lexus, and used his credit card at a Mapco on 21st Avenue South.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) posted a Silver Alert about the missing 84-year-old at 3:43 p.m., saying his medical condition could impair his ability to return home without assistance.
“Officer Read was monitoring West air and overheard a missing person go out,” said Lt. Mack Mangrum with the Belle Mead Police Department. “He asked our dispatch to enter the tag of the missing person into our LPR system.”
Just 18 minutes later, Ballal’s Lexus was seen driving by an LPR camera in Belle Meade.
Officer David Read — who is also the department’s chaplain — was out the door right away to perform a traffic stop on the 84-year-old.
Some of the interaction was captured on the officer’s body cam.
“Hey, how you doing, partner?” Read said. “Put the car in park there.”
The officer directed Ballal to the nearby Kroger parking lot, where he alerted everyone the missing senior was alive and well.
While waiting on his family to arrive, Ballal told Read he was lost.
“What did I do wrong?” Ballal asked.
“I think your daughter may be looking for you,” Read replied. “She may be trying to find you.”
About 30 minutes after the TBI issued the Silver Alert, Ballal’s daughter and grandson arrived.
Ballal smiled as he said, “That’s my grandson.”
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The family seemed relieved that Ballal was located safely.
When asked about how watching Ballal’s family reunite made him feel, Mangrum said, “It’s a great thing to see. It shows that these LPR systems are for more than just locating stolen vehicles or stolen tags.”
It’s unclear where the senior was during the hours he was missing.