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Monday, October 3, 2022

License plate recognition camera system helps solve rental car theft

Lizbeth Renta
Lizbeth Renta

Lake County’s new license plate recognition system helped police nab a Sanford woman who failed to return a vehicle she rented from an Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Seminole County after her rental had expired.

Lizbeth Bonilla Renta, 27, was pulling into a Sonic Drive-In at 806 Citrus Blvd. at 7:37 p.m.Wednesday when she was stopped by a Lake County sheriff’s deputy who was alerted by the LPR system, according to an arrest report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

An LPR camera in Fruitland Park flagged the 2020 black Chevy sedan as it was headed southbound on U.S.  Hwy. 27/441. A deputy spotted the vehicle after receiving the notification while on patrol. He followed the car to the Sonic, activated his lights and siren, then summoned a Sumter County sheriff’s deputy and Leesburg police officer to the scene to assist with the arrest.

Police found several bags of marijuana in the car but later discovered Renta had a medical marijuana card.

The Puerto Rico native was booked at the Lake County Jail on a felony theft charge and was kept in custody overnight before being released Thursday morning on a written promise to appear in court Aug. 9.

Renta has several tattoos, including one on her arm that says, “Never be a prisoner of your own past. It was a lesson, not a life sentence.”

Lt. John Herrell, a spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, said the county began using the LPR camera system in the middle of last year.

“It’s a beneficial piece of technology that helps our sheriff’s patrols do their jobs more effectively, efficiently and safely,” he said.

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