Paradise Valley license plate reader data leads to ID of hit-and-run driver

File photo.

Officials at the Paradise Valley Police Department are saying license plate reader data helped track down, identify and charge a suspected hit-and-run driver.

On March 21 officials say the Paradise Valley Police Department responded to the area of Lincoln Drive and Desert Fairways on a reported vehicle accident in the nearby area of the intersection.

Upon arrival officers only encountered one vehicle and the occupants of that vehicle informed responding officers the other vehicle involved in the accident was a black sport utility vehicle driven by a younger male subject, according to Paradise Valley Police Sgt. Mike Horn.

“Each of the drivers got out of the vehicles to assess the damage at which time the reporting parting took some photos of both vehicles’ damage,” Sgt. Horn said in an April 14 press release that announced the arrest.

“Both then agreed to drive to a parking lot to exchange information. The reporting party pulled into the parking lot; however, the driver of the black SUV continued north on Desert Fairways and fled the scene without providing any information.”

Responding officers the day of the accident were unable to locate the SUV, but using the photos provided by the reporting party, Sgt. Horn says, Det. Marshall with PVPD was able to determine the vehicle was a Cadillac Escalade and a photo also captured an image of the driver.

“Det. Marshall searched LPR data looking for a black Escalade entering the town just prior to the time of the accident and identified a possible suspect vehicle,” Sgt. Horn said of data retained through LPR technology. “Research into the registered owner of the suspect vehicle indicated that the registered owner was older than the subject depicted in the photos, but further investigation showed that a possible family member living at that same address may match the depicted driver.”

Upond discovery of this information, Det. Marshall went tot he address listed as the registered owner of the automobile. According to Sgt. Horn, Det. Marshall spoke to the wife of the registered owner and her 19-year-old-son Maher Ismail.

“Maher denied driving the vehicle even though his mother pointed out that the subject in the photo looked just like her son,” Sgt. Horn said. “Maher also initially denied that it was he in the photo, however. when confronted with photos and the LPR  data, Maher admitted  that the photos were of him and that his vehicle had lost traction and slid, striking the reporting party’s vehicle.”

Mr. Ismail was then issued a citation for failing to control his vehicle and failure to remain at the scene of an accident.

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