RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) – Automatic license plate readers have helped police track down suspects throughout central Illinois. This time, they helped catch a murder suspect.

“They’ve been very successful for us in helping us really put the final pieces together on some of these cases,” Rantoul Deputy Police Chief Justin Bouse said.

The shooting happened in Rantoul over three months ago, but it was just yesterday when police were finally able to make an arrest. 18-year-old Quionte Chaney is now behind bars.

The automatic license plate readers gave police information that made it possible to solve this crime. They take a series of six photos. Police then collect that data, compare it to witness information, and use it all to identify a suspect.

On the evening of April 12, police responded to a report of shots fired.

“When they got down there, they found a victim inside a residence who had been shot,” Bouse said.

The 20-year-old victim was later pronounced dead. That’s when the murder investigation began.

“Since that time, we’ve been speaking with witnesses, speaking with other people in the area, going through license plate reader data,” Bouse said.

They took descriptions of the vehicle witnesses saw leaving the scene that night and compared them to photos from nearby license plate readers. By late june, police had all the information they needed to get a warrant.

“We were able to identify the person that was responsible for this murder,” Bouse said.

A few weeks later, U.S. Marshalls arrested 18-year-old Quionte Chaney outside of the Champaign County Courthouse. Rantoul police say it was tips from the community and automatic license plate reader data that led them to the suspect.

“There seems to be some reluctance on scene sometimes for us to get all the information, but usually within a few days after the shooting, information starts to roll in through tip lines, usually through Champaign County Crimestoppers and we start to kind of weave through some of those,” Bouse said.

The village installed twelve plate readers last year. Police say the devices have been a big help.

“They’ve solved several shooting cases. They solved an arson case that was happening both here in Rantoul and in Champaign,” Bouse said.

There was a second shooting in Rantoul that day. Police are still investigating whether the two are connected.