Developments made in thief-identification technology

Developments made in thief-identification technology

A New Zealand business has invented a way to catch thieves using number plate recognition.

The company's made its first major software sale to Z Energy, which is using it to stop petrol theft.

The new technology means when a vehicle of interest from a previous drive-off enters the petrol station, they can prevent another occurring by putting the pump on prepay. It also allows them to flag a stolen vehicle and automatically tell police it's on site.

In the few months they've been using this software the number of drive-offs has reduced by up to 80 percent.

It's something Police Commissioner Mike Clements is excited about.

"It's good for retailers, it's good for this private organisation, it's innovative, it embraces the technology that's available and it's good for police," he says. "Ultimately I think it's good for everybody."

Kiwi businesses lose $2 million a day to theft. Now retail stores like Countdown and Briscoes can share information, including predictions of who is likely to shoplift and where and when they will strike.

If you walk into a store and steal, shop workers can fill out an incident report there and then and it will automatically notify police and other retailers you're in the area.

All Z Energy stations will be using the Auror software from next week and as more and more retailers sign up to it and the pool of information they share grows, the chances of getting away with theft just gets smaller.