FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Franklin County has started using a new system to help track down criminals. They just recently installed license plate readers around the county.

Last week, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office placed 12 license plate cameras across the county. Sheriff A.J. Smith said they will help track down stolen vehicles.

“Because if they are driving legally and nobody runs the tag then we would never know where it is,” Smith said. “This way it can be driving legally down the road, the camera takes the tag number and alerts us that it’s stolen.”

Within the first few days of use, the cameras helped deputies find a stolen vehicle and return it to the owner.

“We had a stolen car, we put it in the tag reader and we found the car over in Bay County,” Smith said. “As a result, we were able to apprehend the person driving it and apprehend the truck.”

The license plate cameras are connected to neighboring law enforcement. Deputies input the license plate number, then if any camera on the systems sees it, the Sheriff’s Office receives an alert.

“We are able to help solve crimes not only in Franklin County but in other counties because a lot of people that do crimes sometimes cross county lines then go into to other jurisdictions so it going to be a win-win for us so we can quickly solve crimes,” Smith explained.

Sheriff Smith believes the addition of these will benefit his deputies and the community.

“We are trying to leverage technology to help us do our job better, to be more effective and efficient because there’s only so many deputies, we can’t be everywhere,” Smith said.

Sheriff Smith said the cameras will only be used to locate vehicles connected to a serious crime. They will not be used to catch speeders.