The Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority was created in 1996 to combat a runaway auto theft problem. Thefts have dropped from 53,000 in 1996 to 28,000 in 2007. Pennsylvania equipped 13 squad cars with license plate readers, and with the hope of continuing that decline in stolen vehicles, began using the technology in earnest in 2007.
"It would be nice to have them set up on those roads where we know they're transporting stolen cars," said Michelle Staton, executive director of the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority. "New York City is not far from the upper end of our state, and they're stealing from there and transporting through our state. If we could pick up on those cars, it would be great."