License plate readers in Fort Mill neighborhood installed to deter crime

Jon Alion, HOA Board Member for the Knightsbridge subdivision, is behind why his neighborhood has security cameras that read license plates throughout the community.

“Crime seems to be happening a little more often,” Alion said.  “Most of it has been car thefts, car break-ins, stealing what’s inside, here and in other neighborhoods.”

He started doing some research on cameras and found the Flock security system which is solar-powered operated and motion activated. It cost several hundred dollars a month.

Homeowners told Fox 46 Charlotte the cameras are a good deterrent and investment of their dues.

“Criminals need to know you're going to be on the camera, you're going to be on social media, the police are going to get a copy, It's already been successful thus far,” Alion said.

Alion referenced a dog that was stolen months after the first system was installed, last year. With the combination of home surveillance footage with the license plate reader, they were able to recover the animal and return it to its owner. You’ll notice the device at the front of the neighborhood, capturing every vehicle exiting the community. There is only one way in and out of the subdivision.

Recently, a second license plate reader was put up for an additional layer of protection. This camera is focused on the neighborhood storage lot, which has been a hot-spot for thefts prior to the camera system.

Now, other neighborhoods are reaching out to Alion for advice on getting the equipment set up in their communities.

“The real goal is for us to be proactive, have a safe community, have an active community where we all work together, and to keep crime out of our neighborhood,” Alion said.

The data collected can only be seen by the company who owns the cameras and members of the HOA board who have the password to view footage.