Nov. 24—A Nashville man was arrested and charged with car theft in Mt. Juliet on Monday.
Edwin Hinson, 55, was apprehended by Mt. Juliet Police officers after stealing a 2009 Toyota Camry in Nashville. Police received a Guardian Shield alert that led to Hinson’s arrest.
There are 50 Guardian Shield Alerts across the city, mainly stationed at entrances, exits, and major intersections. The license plate recognition program compares plate numbers to a hot-list.
“A hot list would be things like a stolen vehicle, stolen plate, Amber Alert, or a felony involved vehicle,” Mt. Juliet Police Department Public Information Officer Tyler Chandler said. “If a plate is on the hot list, it alerts us, and our officers go out and find it. When they find it, they work to make an arrest.”
Since the implementation of the Guardian Shield Alert Program in April of 2020, Mt. Juliet Police officers have recovered 140 stolen cars, 61 stolen plates, and 94 wanted individuals from alerts. That includes five stolen trailers, four missing adults, and five missing or runaway minors.
“The reason we got into the license plate recognition program was to deal with unlocked vehicle burglaries and car theft,” Chandler said. “We were noticing that the criminal element out of Nashville were stealing cars and then they were driving into our community to commit more crimes. We wanted to intercept that activity before they victimized our residents or visitors.”
Crimes against property are down 20% overall in Mt. Juliet, which is the lowest it’s been since 2016. Car burglaries in Mt. Juliet are down 41% and are at the lowest they’ve been since 2004. Car theft is down 29%, which is the lowest it’s been since 2016.
“It’s really dropped our crime numbers significantly, which is pretty awesome, because that’s the main reason we got into it was to deal with crime,” Chandler said. “The majority of the individuals that we arrest are not from the city of Mt. Juliet. They’re from the Nashville area, and we just try to keep that criminal element from harming our community.”