Toronto media reported a story about a husband and father of two who had reportedly dropped his kids off at school on his way to work. He never showed up for work; nor did he return home that day. The police later reported that his cell phone was used in North Bay, about 300 km north of Toronto, but had not yet found a sign of the man or his vehicle. The York Regional Police and local news media issued a public alert about this situation. They provided a description of the man’s vehicle and license plate number. We have seen similar alerts. Time is of essence in finding missing persons.
Have you noticed an unusual car parked on a back country road lately? A strange car parked in your back alley for days? A car parked in the far corner of a parking lot for over a week? Are you thinking perhaps there is something suspicious about these abandoned cars?
The Windshieldink license plate messaging app can play a big part in connecting an abandoned car with a missing person and vehicle. The Windshieldink platform can perform this service anywhere in the world where license plates are used.
This is how we do it
Utilizing our Windshieldink Alerter service (more info on our website), the team at Windshieldink posts alerts about missing persons and their vehicles in our online Alerter database. A person with our free app on their smartphone that comes across an unusual vehicle can input the license plate number into the app, tap verify, and will instantly know if an alert is posted for that vehicle (example image below). The in-app pop-up provides instruction on what to do and might also include contact information for the relevant authority. The app allows a person to attach their GPS location into their message. You just never know if the plate number you are checking is linked to a missing person.
Test how easy it is to check for an alert. We created a fake license plate online for a missing Honda Civic. Using the Windshieldink app, input the license plate number “APB1” with an origin of Ontario, and tap “Verify..”. You will see the pop-up shown in the image. Now send your message.
Who can post missing vehicles in Alerter?
Any agency can use our Alerter dashboard to create an account subscription and manage their own online alerts. Windshieldink endeavors to post urgent alerts that we become aware of, however there will be many alerts we will never hear about. Our hope is that, in time, authorities will take the initiative to post their own alerts online so the eyes and ears of the public can help them find missing persons via their vehicles.
This link shares one of our recently written blogs on this topic of how Windshieldink can help find stolen vehicles. Stolen vehicles are not generally life-and-death situations but a missing person can be.
No matter where you live, let us know if you have an urgent alert involving a missing person and their vehicle. Email us (email@example.com) the vehicle license plate number and origin (where the plate is registered), the vehicle make/model/color and any instruction or contact information you want to provide. We will post your alert online on your behalf.
We’re always interested in hearing from you. Send your comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.