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Think you have the right tools to investigate arson? Think again.

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Vehicle location data may be the missing link you need. 

Arson set fires were up 10% in 2014, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In 2014, arsonists were responsible for $729 million in property damage including fires at factories, residential buildings and churches and in motor vehicles.

Even as carriers employ Special Investigative Units (SIUs), arson clearance rates remain low – the national rate in 2013 was 21.0 percent. As those committing arson fraud become more sophisticated, it becomes even harder to solve these crimes using traditional investigative tools and techniques.

Carriers tell us that the key to solving an arson investigation is often quite simple in principle – connect the dots between the scene of the crime and the people who were seen at that location. In reality, this can be quite hard to do and that’s one of the reasons the clearance rate is so low.

What if you could find out who was staking out a building or if you could see people who have been sighted at more than one arson location? What if the missing link between crime scenes and suspects could be found?

Vehicle location data is proving to be that missing link for SIU’s – the link they couldn’t get anywhere else. Vehicle location data or license plate sightings show commonly sighted plates at certain locations within certain time frames – placing suspects at the scene of the crime and providing supporting evidence. Or in cases where suspected collusion exists between several arson scenes, SIU’s can automatically compare license plates at multiple arson locations to find license plates in common between addresses.

DRN’s SIU tool, Event Links (also available through ISO), provides vehicle location data that may prove to be the missing link in your arson investigations.