St. Petersburg Police unveil new armored vehicle to fight crime

Armored surveillance vehicle

St. Petersburg Police unveiled a new crime-fighting tool Thursday.  It's a $30,000 investment with the latest in surveillance technology.


It's an armored surveillance vehicle.  Police plan to park it in communities, hoping its presence will deter criminals. 


Major Gorge Sotolongo with the St. Petersburg Police Department said, "It could be narcotic drug law violations. It could be burglary patterns to stores or criminal mischief to store fronts."


The ASV has seven cameras, which are monitored by officers at headquarters 247. They can spot a license plate 500 feet away. Police tell us the truck could be used as early as tonight. Bill Proffitt, with the St. Petersburg Police Department, said, "There's no way to anticipate that kind of crime where a bullet comes through the window, that kind of scenario. But certainly, if there are ongoing kind of patterns of crimes, or where the citizens want the vehicle there, we can do that."


St. Petersburg Police say the vehicle could be the answer to stopping crimes in the area. Right now, they are investigating two shootings that took place within 24 hour of each other. 


Thomas Jackson is the Recreation Manager for the City of St. Petersburg. He admits, when he's at work, his mind is on something else, after his mother, Eloise Johnson was almost shot in her 30th Street home Tuesday night. Jackson said, "I constantly call her. Every other hour, I'm on the phone with her, making sure she's okay."


Just 24 hour later, police say someone shot at a home on 19th Avenue, just a few houses away from Johnson's. Police do not have any upset in the crimes, but they say the two cases could be connected. 


While they will not say if the ASV is going to be used in this case, they hope it will prevent crimes like these from happening.

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