STAMFORD - It hunts for everything from stolen cars to people in trouble with the law over taxes, and the Stamford Police Department is testing it.

The Mobile License Plate Hunter continuously scans the plates of vehicles it passes or vice versa, meaning it can work in a stationary position or while traveling on a road. Infrared cameras mounted in a cruiser send the plate information to a police database, which almost instantaneously alerts the officer whether there's a problem.

"A normal police officer could gather this same data but it would just take incredible amounts of time," says Stamford Police Department Lt. Sean Cooney. "This is something that can make the average police officer much more effective in terms of capturing wanted persons and it will make Stamford safer."

The police department hasn't committed to buying the $23,000 unit. However, the officer who demonstrated it to News 12 Connecticut plans to give it a glowing review.

When Norwalk police were investigating the shooting death of Officer Matt Morelli, the system was used to plot the location of every car in the area.