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  • Opps- stolen vehicle

    I want to see if anyone else had this nice bit of oddity.

    When you check a registration in NCIC- My experiance has always been it comes back with any entered plates that match that number (or vin if by vin)- it does not get "close" like with names that are wanted, but the exact number, in whatever state.


    I had one that was a speacilty plate, a fairly restricted one at that- came back as stolen, but it was a compleatly diffrent car, the plate number was 3 digits off xxxxxx3 vs xxxxx6- and get this, our agency entered the stolen/wanted plate (small town)- and in my rush to error on the side of safety, I checked that the plate entered stolen was the same type of special plate, and it was florida, and noticed we entered the plate- when I noticed we entered the plate stolen is when I decided it was the vehicle in front of me- (wrong!).

    So, I was in the wrong on this stop, it was the same type of specialty plate, i the same city as the stolen one, both registered as local citizens, and the stolen plate (of a very very limited specialty- one w/ qualification guidelines) was entered locally.... I dont know what the odds of it happening this way were, but it did.....

    Anyone else have this happen, Ive never had a hit response for a plate that was not the same number as I entered- and just to test it, I changed one of the other numbers to xxx3xxx instead of xxx4xxx- and it did not do the same hit, and to see if it was maybe limited to a single digit, I tried the vin diffrent, xxxxxxxxxxxxx4 instead of xxxxxxxxxxxx5 - again no hit.. it was the darn'dest thing.

    I know I should have taken the time to read the hit more clearly before taking action that it was stolen, but can you blame me for something so small a diffrence?- and yes the vehicles actually were a bit diffrent (color, make) but both were pkups, registered in this city- I did not bother to look up to double-check the plate because I knew the plate I entered to the first 4-5 digits. so because my agency entered the vehicle, I assumed the last digit was right too. x.x common, really, can you blame me here?
    Status: Online 26% of the time
    Updated on: 12/28/09

  • #2
    Nope, been there done that... all good as long as you "brush them off" really nice.

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    • #3
      The problem with NCIC and many state systems is that they take what you enter, like a name or a license plate, and the computer changes it to some sort of numerical algorithm which almost always ends up being an identical or a very close match to another entry, and thus you get the HIT. Thats why I always depend on my dispatcher who can take the time and focus her attention to do a thourough examination to see if the HIT is valid or not.

      I don't know why in these modern days that with the more advanced technology that they can't change the way the computers work these records in order to provide us with more accurate responces when we do inquiries.
      What not to openly admit in the Officer.com Forums: "I AM an active member of I.P.R." - Riggs45

      "Please let me know, Thank you." in honor of Chitown2210

      “What's right is what's left if you've done everything else wrong.” - Robin Williams

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      • #4
        I've never had that happen before with NCIC. The only time something similar has happened if a space was entered in the plate, such as vanity plate.
        ABC 123 hit on the stolen plate of ABC123. Standard plates in MD don't come with spaces, however vanity plates can contain a space.

        I've never had a tag come back with a 'sound alike' such as those that come back with names.

        Is it possible the stolen plate was entered incorrectly?

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        • #5
          California's system gives us what are called "Near Miss' responses on stolen vehicles with different plates.

          If I run ABC128 I may get back, No hit ABC128, Near Miss AVC128 or Near Miss ABC123

          The reason for the first near miss is that the V key is next to the B key on the computer keyboard. Here, the system is considering the possibility that this really is my stolen car but that a typo was made when the originating agency entered it in the computer. (AVC versus ABC)

          The second near miss is because a little dark paint can be added to the 8, making the plate look like a 3 (128 versus 123).

          When that happens we are then taught to look at the year, make, model, color and other descriptive information listed in the stolen vehicle system entry to see if it matches the car we are observing. If so, then we make the stop and do a stolen vehicle check by VIN number.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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