Thief steals San Luis Obispo police radar detector

September 18, 2012

San Luis Obispo police may get caught speeding by a suspect they happen to be pursuing.

A radar gun disappeared from a pouch inside a parked, police motorcycle left unattended around 1:40 am Sunday, the police department said. Police reported that an unidentified suspect stole the radar detector from an officer’s motorcycle while multiple officers responded to a fight at 55 Stenner Street.

The police department values the radar gun, known as a LIDAR, at more than $2,500.

Unauthorized possession of the radar is a felony.

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This article was poorly researched and written. The item stolen is referred to as a radar detector in both the headline and in the article. A radar detector (as the name suggests) is a device used by drivers to detect police use of radar, so they can avoid getting a ticket. What the police use to catch speeders is called a radar gun or a laser gun. And in this case, it isn’t even a radar gun, because it uses laser, which is a completely different technology from radar (light waves versus radio waves).

Evidently the thief was speedy at getting it, and getting away!!

Let’s see if these $100,000+ a year guys can find their own radar gun! If not, are the taxpayers on the hook as usual for this officer’s carelessness?

LIDAR is not radar. This is a laser speed gun, not a radar device. In fact, here’s the device pictured: