Manalapan When this affluent island town, where two burglaries a year is the norm, was hit with a trio of heists in a just a few months, officials decided to put a stop to the crime wave by installing a surveillance system that eventually could track every person who drives into town.

Cameras would record drivers' faces and license plates, and software could use the tag numbers to automatically check -- in just a few seconds -- whether a motorist is wanted by authorities or driving a stolen car, Police Chief Clay Walker said.

Walker said he hopes the new system would make the 321 residents of his town, east of Lantana and Boynton Beach, a little safer. But American Civil Liberties Union attorney Jim Green said -- though probably legal -- it would be a scary invasion of privacy.

"Having Big Brother kind of surveillance cameras on us every time we come and go is, at least to me, a truly frightening specter," he said. "It's truly Orwellian."

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