Nov 24 – A Nashville man was arrested Monday and charged with auto theft in Mt. Juliet.
Edwin Hinson, 55, was apprehended by Mt. Juliet police officers after stealing a 2009 Toyota Camry in Nashville. Police received a Guardian Shield alert that led to Hinson’s arrest.
There are 50 Guardian Shield alerts scattered around the city, mainly stationed at entrances, exits and major intersections. The license plate recognition program compares plate numbers with a hot list.
“A hotlist would be things like a stolen vehicle, stolen license plate, Amber Alert, or a vehicle where a crime has been committed,” said Mount Juliet Police Department public information officer Tyler Chandler. “If a sign is on the hotlist, we’re alerted, and our agents go out to find it. If they find it, they’re working on an arrest.”
Since the implementation of the Guardian Shield alert program in April 2020, Mount Juliet police officers have recovered 140 stolen cars, 61 stolen license plates and 94 wanted persons from alerts. That includes five stolen trailers, four missing adults and five missing or runaway minors.
“The reason we started the license plate recognition program was to address car break-ins and car thefts,” Chandler said. “We noticed that the criminal element from Nashville was stealing cars and then driving into our community to commit more crimes. We wanted to intercept that activity before it victimized our residents or visitors.”
Crimes against property are down 20% overall in Mount Juliet, the lowest since 2016. Car burglaries in Mount Juliet are down 41%, and the lowest since 2004. Car thefts are down 29%, which is the lowest since 2016.
“It really lowered our crime rates significantly, which is pretty awesome because that’s the main reason we got into it was to tackle crime,” Chandler said. “The majority of individuals we arrest are not from the town of Mt. Juliet. They are from the Nashville area and we’re just trying to keep that criminal element from harming our community.”