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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bait cars - Officer

At Big Metro City PD where I used to work, I know auto theft was a serious problem.  We had a variety of small import vehicles seized through asset forfeiture that we would put out as "bait cars" for auto thieves and then assign U. C. units to sit on them and wait for the theft to occur, which would eventually happen, and then chase them all crazy to get them.
Well in my new agency Medium Size City PD, we have "bait cars" too, but they bring a whole new game to the playing field.  Our bait cars are again small import vehicles seized in asset forfeiture, but then we revamp them and bring them to a whole new level. 
The cars are first outfit with GPS tracking.  Then they are equipped with several night vision concealed video cameras so as to capture photographs of anyone in any seat in the vehicle.  Then we install a kill switch and remote door lock.  This allows us to not waste resources sitting on the vehicle, but alerts dispatch when any door is opened.  They then start watching remote video feed and tracking the vehicle.  They put out the bait car activation and start sending locations to the field units.  When we have enough units behind the vehicle, we alert dispatch, they throw the kill switch, the vehicle engine dies, and the doors auto-lock, trapping the occupants inside.  When we are set up and ready, we tell dispatch to unlock the vehicle, and remove the occupants at our convenience.  It takes some of the sport out of it, but it still has high marks for just plain fun, "like shooting fish in a barrel". 

2 comments:

Dave Bennett said...

Sounds like you are working for some intelligent people for once. Congratulations.

I watched a TV show about these bait cars. Four young men hop in the car, laughing and giggling with excitement. They're going to have some fun tonight, yeah! And then they see a police car behind them and they get serious. Then the car dies, and the doors lock, and oh boo hoo it isn't fun anymore. The transformation from rockin' anna rollin' to crybaby was hilarious.

In the next generation of bait cars, you sit in the command center and remotely drive them to the police station and into the "garage."

Mr. 618 said...

To second what Dave said, your op sounds similar to the TV show.

Have you gotten the excuse yet that "Ah wuz jes' drivin' it to de PO-leese house..."?

Must be nice to be able to keep seized assets... back when I was on (70s and 80s) the politicians always found a way to have the seized assets sold, and the money transferred to general funds -- which they could loot at will.