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(07-09) 19:11 PDT -- Welcome to Tiburon.
Click.
Your presence has been noted.
The posh and picturesque town that juts into San Francisco Bay is poised to do something unprecedented: use cameras to record the license plate number of every vehicle that crosses city limits.
Some residents describe the plan as a commonsense way to thwart thieves, most of whom come from out of town. Others see an electronic border gate and worry that the project will only reinforce Tiburon's image of exclusivity and snootiness.
"I personally don't see too much harm in it, because I have nothing to hide," commodities broker Paul Lambert, 64, said after a trip to Boardwalk Market in downtown Tiburon on a recent afternoon.
"Yet," he said, "it still has the taint of Big Brother."
Tiburon's camera idea is a marriage of technology, policing and distinct geography.
Situated on a peninsula, Tiburon's hillside homes and waterfront shops are accessible by only two roads, allowing police to point the special cameras known as license plate readers at every lane that leads into and out of the town of 8,800.
The readers, which use character recognition software, can compare plates to databases of cars that have been stolen or linked to crimes, then immediately notify police of matches, said Police Chief Michael Cronin.
If someone burglarized a Tiburon home at 3 a.m. one morning, he said, detectives could consult the devices and find out who came to town in the hours before - and who rolled out soon after.
'Very low-key'
"It's very low-key," said Town Manager Peggy Curran. "The whole point of license plates is that people can be identified by them."
If the Town Council gives final approval, Curran said, officials hope to install the readers on Tiburon Boulevard and Paradise Drive by late fall.
Tiburon plans to spend grant funds on the project and ask two other governments that could benefit from it to contribute to an expected price tag of $100,000 - the city of Belvedere, a bump of land on the southeastern edge of Tiburon, and Marin County.
Cronin called it a sound investment. He pointed to a frustrating twist in Tiburon crime: Residents feel so safe that they don't lock their cars and homes.
In all of 2007 and 2008, Tiburon recorded 196 thefts, 37 burglaries and a dozen stolen cars. The chief said every alleged thief who was arrested in those years was from outside Tiburon.
Finding suspects
Once the street cameras are installed, Cronin said, hunting a burglary suspect could be easier. "We'll look for a plate that came and went," he said. "That's going to give us a very short list to work on."
Detectives could then check to see if any of the cars has been linked with crimes in the past. Between 300 and 400 cars use Tiburon Boulevard to travel in or out of the town from midnight to 6 a.m. on weekdays.
"It's much more efficient than having an officer sit on the boulevard, watch passing cars and guess who might be a burglar," Cronin said.
Nicole Ozer, who directs policy on technology for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, isn't as supportive. She called the cameras a "needle in a haystack" approach that may waste money, invade privacy and invite unfair profiling.
"To be under investigation simply because you entered or left Tiburon at a certain time is incredibly intrusive," Ozer said. "Innocent people should be able to go about their daily lives without being tracked and monitored."
City leaders promise to prevent abuses. Information on which cars enter and leave town will not be available to the public, they said, and will be erased within 60 days. Police officers will be granted access to the information only during an investigation.
License plate readers have exploded in popularity in recent years, but Tiburon would be one of the first to mount them at fixed locations - and perhaps the very first to record every car coming or going.
California Highway Patrol officials have put the readers on 18 cruisers and at four fixed locations. CHP officers have seen a huge increase in recoveries of stolen cars since the devices were installed starting in August 2005, the agency said.
Devices help CHP
Through December, officials said, the CHP had used the devices to recover 1,739 cars and arrest 675 people.
San Francisco gave the devices to police as well as parking control officers, allowing them to track cars parked for too long in one spot. Some cities use the cameras to assess anti-congestion tolls on motorists, while casino bosses get an alert when a high roller - or a cheater - pulls in.
Outside Tiburon's Boardwalk Market, where a flyer in the window offered a $2,000 reward for the return of a stolen Pomeranian, residents seemed split on the plan.
Robin Pryor, 66, of Belvedere said the most important issue was whether the cameras made people safer.
"It's just like locking your door," Pryor said. "If they have reason for it to bother them, they shouldn't be coming in."
But Fred Mayo, 62, who lives in Tiburon and owns a travel agency in Mill Valley, said the cameras would invade privacy. "Where does it end?" Mayo asked.
He referred to the crime blotter in the local newspaper, which listed two incidents recently of kids tossing water balloons at cars, and noted, "It's not like Tiburon's a high-crime area."

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"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."
 

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Re: (BRealistic)

Quote, originally posted by BRealistic »
"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."

Re-quoted for the truth
 

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Re: (BRealistic)

Quote, originally posted by BRealistic »
"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."
and again. yes there will be the "if you're doing nothing wrong what do you have to worry about" crowd but frankly the more stuff happens like this the more I think of 1984 and frankly, that's not a good thing.
 

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Re: Tiburon, CA: We will record license plates of EVERY car driving in! (chucchinchilla)

damn I had to go to a wedding in Tiburon last May, hope they weren't making test shots haha. pretty lame law, sweet town though it's super pretty, right on the bay.
 

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Re: Tiburon, CA: We will record license plates of EVERY car driving in! (chucchinchilla)

This is a good idea for small exclusive towns. If the residents approve of course. I'd rather have my home undisturbed. Cameras like these will scare smart crooks away.
 

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Re: Tiburon, CA: We will record license plates of EVERY car driving in! (2.0T_Convert)

Quote, originally posted by 2.0T_Convert »
This is a good idea for small exclusive towns. If the residents approve of course. I'd rather have my home undisturbed. Cameras like these will scare smart crooks away.

Smart crooks will steal cars or plates. Or rent cars.
And it isn't like the residents should control all our liberities. We have freedom to travel. Tiburon is somewhere you pass through (ferries to SF leave from there)


Modified by nm+ at 9:58 PM 7-12-2009
 

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Re: Tiburon, CA: We will record license plates of EVERY car driving in! (nm+)

Hey, I thought SF and counties north were supposed to be uber-liberal.
This plan doesn't sound like the flower-power love-thy-neighbour Bay Area.
 

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Re: Tiburon, CA: We will record license plates of EVERY car driving in! (jastevenson)

Quote, originally posted by jastevenson »
Hey, I thought SF and counties north were supposed to be uber-liberal.
This plan doesn't sound like the flower-power love-thy-neighbour Bay Area.

You are right, with the exception of Tiburon and Belvedere. This is where all the out of state rich snooty people go to live. Just outside of city limits in Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Fairfax etc.. is where all the liberals live. And trust me, these places and people are much better than Tiburon.
There is no way that this will pass as to many of us in Marin will snipe this type of big brother down.
Oh and I have violated the former chief of polices daughter back in high school
So i got my big brother revenge already



Modified by Longboarder at 10:53 PM 7-12-2009
 

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Re: (BRealistic)

Quote, originally posted by BRealistic »
"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."

Quoted for truth.
 

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Re: Tiburon, CA: We will record license plates of EVERY car driving in! (nm+)

Quote, originally posted by nm+ »

Smart crooks will steal cars or plates. Or rent cars.
And it isn't like the residents should control all our liberities. We have freedom to travel. Tiburon is somewhere you pass through (ferries to SF leave from there)

Modified by nm+ at 9:58 PM 7-12-2009

Renting a car to hit the town would make you a dumb crook. Easy to trace back to you. If you stole a car & it has already been reported then licence plate readers work even better. Fake plates wouldn't protect you either if every tag was run through as it came by. Live feed or active moniters would probably help take a big bite out of crime.
 

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Re: Tiburon, CA: We will record license plates of EVERY car driving in! (2.0T_Convert)

Who cares .. it's over the bridge, and considering the cost of the toll I wouldn't drive there anyways.
 

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Re: Tiburon, CA: We will record license plates of EVERY car driving in! (Longboarder)

Quote, originally posted by Longboarder »
This is where all the out of state rich snooty people go to live. Just outside of city limits in Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Fairfax etc.. is where all the liberals live. And trust me, these places and people are much better than Tiburon.
There is no way that this will pass as to many of us in Marin will snipe this type of big brother down.
Oh and I have violated the former chief of polices daughter back in high school
So i got my big brother revenge already

Where in Marin do you live? Firstly, all of southern Marin has become snooty over the past decade, not just there. Bel/Tib is an awesome family town; safe, good schools, lots to do, good community, pretty scenery, the bay right in front of you. Saying that places like Corte Madera are much nicer is silly. Sure they've got Denny's, but let's be realistic. No.
And I don't expect this thing to pass either. The streets are already plenty safe, being guarded by empty cruisers parked on street corners.





Modified by chucchinchilla at 11:44 PM 7-12-2009
 

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Re: Tiburon, CA: We will record license plates of EVERY car driving in! (2.0T_Convert)

Quote, originally posted by 2.0T_Convert »

Renting a car to hit the town would make you a dumb crook. Easy to trace back to you. If you stole a car & it has already been reported then licence plate readers work even better. Fake plates wouldn't protect you either if every tag was run through as it came by. Live feed or active moniters would probably help take a big bite out of crime.

Except that we're talking about a computerized system.
Flag all plates registered to person convicted of a crime. Rental car doesn't get flagged. There's no state-wide computerized network of people who rented cars.
And if you investigated every rental in Marin county, you'd be working for a very long time.
As for stolen car, yes, the car gets flagged. After the crime occurs. There isn't active monitoring going on here.
 

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FV-QR

Quote, originally posted by article »

"it still has the taint of Big Brother."

that it does... that it does...
 
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