An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from the NY Times:
"The Police Department's growing web of license-plate-reading cameras has been transforming investigative work. Though the imaging technology was conceived primarily as a counterterrorism tool, the cameras' presence — all those sets of watchful eyes that never seem to blink — has aided in all sorts of traditional criminal investigations. ... 'We knew going into it that they would have other obvious benefits,' Mr. Browne said about the use of the readers in the initiative. 'Obviously, conventional crime is far more common than terrorism, so it is not surprising that they would have benefits, more frequently, in conventional crime fighting than in terrorism.'"