Deputy probation officers were conducting routine home visits Wednesday in a vehicle equipped with an automated license plate reader when they discovered a stolen license plate affixed to a 1991 BMW, according to a department news release. They watched as a man got into the vehicle and drove it to another location.
At that point, the probation officers contacted the driver, identified as 47-year-old John Edward Moore (pictured), a parolee. Officers determined that the vehicle was stolen and subsequently arrested Moore, who was on parole for vehicle theft.
According to online booking information, Moore was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of a controlled substance, buying or receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools, and violation of parole. He is being held in Sacramento Count Jail in lieu of $245,000 bail.
In April 2010, the Probation Department equipped two vehicles with automated license plate readers. To date, Sacramento County probation officers have recovered 230 stolen vehicles using the technology, and the department was recently recognized by the National Association for the program.
Chief Probation Officer Don Meyer recommends that vehicle owners take several steps to prevent theft or vandalism:
Don't leave a vehicle unlocked or the windows open.
Park your vehicle in the garage, driveway or in well-lighted areas.
Park in a public area where the vehicle can be seen from many places.
Don't attract a thief by leaving valuable personal property in the car.
Use anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks, car alarms and GPS locating systems.
Report abandoned cars to city authorities. In the unincorporated area of Sacramento County, call (916) 875-5656.
Report stolen cars to city police, In unincorporated areas, call the California Highway Patrol.