Texas Stolen Camaro Bust Triggers Threat Of Lawsuit

Estimated read time 3 min read

Did the cops screw up or was this a legitimate misunderstanding?

A case involving Harris County Sheriff’s Office and what deputies believed was a stolen Chevy Camaro has at least one mother of two teenagers riled up after the kids were held at gunpoint. We’ve seen other cases of police mistakenly believing a vehicle was stolen, subsequently detaining the innocent driver and passengers, but this one has a few extra wrinkles that make it unique but present the potential for repeat scenarios in the future.

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As detailed out by ABC13, Flock cameras read the license plate of a stolen Camaro in a Cypress, Texas neighborhood so police went hunting for it on the night of August 3. That stolen Chevy had been involved in several aggravated robberies, so deputies thought they were dealing with armed and dangerous suspects. Believing they spotted the correct muscle car, they couldn’t confirm it was the same because for whatever set of reasons not specifically disclosed, deputies were unable to read the license plate before they descended on the suspects.

Without that confirmation, they still moved, surrounding the Camaro as one of the 19-year-olds dropped off the other 19-year-old in front of his house. According to the report, at least five cruisers and a helicopter were involved in the bust, with deputies holding the kids at gunpoint and threatening to shoot them as they were cuffed.

After getting the teens’ driver’s licenses and the Camaro’s registration, deputies realized their mistake. But the damage was done and at least one mother plans to lawyer up for a suit against the sheriff’s office.

We have serious questions about why deputies couldn’t read the license plate on the Camaro since it was still light outside, something which surely will be part of the focus of any legal proceedings.

What troubles us even more is the involvement of the Flock cameras in this case. You might have noticed some going up in your city, maybe in your very neighborhood. Some are installed by HOAs, others by law enforcement or municipal government as a way to deter crime in the area. They can read license plates, alerting police of any cars that are stolen, allegedly have been used in a crime, or are part of an AMBER alert. That’s what triggered the police response in this situation.

In other words, with more Flock and similar cameras going up in neighborhoods around the country, these types of mistaken identity incidents could increase. Law enforcement agencies will have to figure out how to not erroneously descend on the wrong vehicle like in this case, otherwise more innocent civilians will be traumatized and more lawsuits could be filed.  

Images via ABC13

Steven Symes https://writerstevensymes.com/

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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  1. 2

    It’s a big mistake with these cameras. The public don’t really know what these things are capable of being in the wrong hand. Police officer in kechi was found guilty this year using those cameras to track his wife.

  2. 3
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