Accused Florida license plate reader thief caught using same license plate readers he stole: deputies

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A Florida man is facing several charges after he allegedly damaged more than a dozen license plate readers/scanners in Seminole County, tossing them into bushes, retention ponds, and a ditch, according to an arrest affidavit.

Eric William Fiedler, 25, of Altamonte Springs, was arrested and booked into jail on Saturday on several counts of damaged property/criminal mischief and grand theft. 

According to the arrest affidavit, Fiedler is accused of damaging license plate scanners in Altamonte Springs, Longwood, and Casselberry, which is estimated to cost the Seminole County Sheriff's Office nearly $35,000 to replace them.

The investigation began in early May after an officer noticed one of the license plate readers near Dog Track Road and Ronald Reagan Blvd. in Longwood was missing. The officer found that the wires connecting the solar panel to the camera had been ripped out, the report said. 

Source: Seminole County Jail

On the other side of the road, another license plate reader had been damaged and was found in a ditch about 15 feet away from the mounting pole, the report said.  

Another two were found in a nearby retention pond, while others were found in some bushes, according to the report. Authorities said several agencies reported damaged license plate readers in Seminole County.


Detectives said surveillance video, traffic cameras, and the readers themselves helped them determine and even witness Fiedler damaging the various devices, according to the report.

The report said the thefts and damage occurred over a two-week period. According to the report, Seminole County leases the cameras from Flock Safety. 

Fiedler did not discuss the case with detectives and requested an attorney, the report said.