There is a new crime fighter in Wyoming aimed at catching car thieves and it's already producing arrests.

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Vehicle Theft Is On The Rise in West Michigan

Male thief tries to steal a car. Car theft concept
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It is no secret that when an economy is struggling crime will rise. We have seen this in our past and we are seeing it again now. The catalytic converter bandits have been going crazy these past couple of years in West Michigan and we are now seeing a shift in the wrong direction in car thefts.

NurPhoto via Getty Images
NurPhoto via Getty Images
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In the last month alone West Michigan has seen a rise in cars being stolen and in particular, Kia's seem to be one of the top targets. Police aren't even sure why thieves are stealing vehicles that after-market parts have a lower value or maybe they are just easier to steal. Regardless stolen cars are on the rise but one city in the area has enlisted a new tool in its toolbox of ways to catch car thieves.

New Way To Catch Car Thieves in Wyoming

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Gado via Getty Images
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The new tool in the toolbox of catching car thieves in Wyoming is using license plate readers. The license plate readers are installed at busy intersections and are hooked to a database that compares the plate to determine if the vehicle or plate has been stolen.

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Police cars in Wyoming do not have them installed on their vehicles but those are available so who knows what the future brings.

The good news is the license plate readers are self-sufficient in figuring out if the car is stolen or the plate is stolen but officers are still needed to make sure it's the right vehicle and the right plate and if the driver has any warrants before making a traffic stop.

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The data that is gathered by an independent company is the property of the Wyoming Police Department and is not sold to other companies. Actually, at the end of the 30 days if a plate is not flagged for anything it is automatically deleted from the system.

Are the License Plate Readers Taking a Bite Out of Crime?

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According to FOX 17, since installing a dozen license plate readers back at the end of winter at busy Wyoming intersections there have been 19 arrests and 13 stolen vehicles have been found. A gun was even located in one of the stolen cars.

Don't be surprised if other area cities and towns take on this new way of catching the bad guys.

READ MORE: Crazy Driving Stories

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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