FLA Police Use Fingerprint Scanner to Catch NC Fugitive

Law Enforcement BiometricsBiometric technology has helped police in Clearwater, Florida, to catch a dangerous criminal, reports Tammie Fields for WTSP. Pinellas Sheriff’s deputies used a fingerprint scanner to identify a suspicious person, ultimately leading to his arrest.

The suspect in question turned out to be 25-year-old Seaton Shomari, wanted for sexual assault, kidnapping, and robbery charges in North Carolina. Approached by the police when he was loitering near a park on the morning of Easter Sunday, he could provide no identification and, as it turned out, lied about his name. He was quickly apprehended when a mobile fingerprint reader was able to provide police with the details of his true identity and his legal status as a fugitive. Interviewed for the article, Deputy Howard Miller said the $1500 fingerprint readers can provide this information in 45 seconds – much faster than the 1o to 20 minutes needed via the county’s previous system.

We’re seeing more and more cases like this one. With the increasing deployment of mobile biometric readers among law enforcement officials, it’s becoming much easier for police to track down persons of interest. And it isn’t just fingerprint scanners that are providing this kind of assistance: Just a few weeks ago, federal investigators used facial recognition technology to nab a fraudster who had fled Florida to North Carolina, having faked his own death; while earlier this year a similar system was used to track down a convicted killer who’d fled from New Zealand to Brazil. For the Pinellas County police’s part, they’re planning to expand the use of their fingerprint scanners going forward, knowing how successful police work can be with these devices in hand.

April 7, 2015 – by Alex Perala