Here’s one from the “Big Brother Likes to Fish, Too” files. Motorists in Orangeburg County, South Carolina are having their license plates automatically scanned as they drive down the road, all because a couple of Orangeburg County deputies are good at catching fish. Really…


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A new weapon is on the street in Orangeburg County. It can help officers find car thieves, tax cheats and even folks with too many tickets. It works by instantly reading every license plate that passes by and checking it against a computer data base. Orangeburg deputies now have one of those cool license plate readers. The sheriff’s office joins eight other South Carolina law agencies using them. “It’s a tool that’s going to help in Orangeburg County in certain crimes as far as stolen vehicles, stolen tags driving under suspension,” said Sheriff Leroy Ravenell.

Kinda creepy or a great law enforcement tool, depending on your point of view. But what’s interesting is how the sheriff’s department got it…

_While it’s great news for Orangeburg residents, the cost was $10,000. Or was it? A couple of Deputies from Orangeburg County went down to Charleston for a fishing tournament, and they caught a fish, a really big fish. That fish was big enough to win the tournament and the prize. The amount was $10,000, just enough to buy the license plate reader.

“That’s a very expensive fish for $10,000, so it was a good deal,” said Sheriff Ravenell. So, how big was it? “I’m not quite sure,” he said. “It was big enough.” Another law enforcement fishing tournament is coming up in September. Sheriff Ravenell hopes his deputies will win that one too._