Porch pirates and Honda car thieves beware because this Sacramento area police has a very specific type of bait they use to catch criminals.
How do you hunters and fisherman go about catching big game and prize fish out in the wild? With bait, of course. This Sacramento city’s police is doing something very similar to catch local thieves who just can’t help themselves. According to CBS Sacramento on their report on this police departments efforts posted earlier yesterday (Nov. 22, 2017) on its second year of implementation the Citrus Heights Police Department is reporting great success in their Bait Theft Reduction Program.
Established last year, in 2016 police racked up 25 felony bait arrests and this year alone they’ve already tallied over 100 arrests directly related to this program. Police use data gathered from the field on the most popular stolen items, commonly targeted by thieves and strategically place the same items, owned by the police department, out and around the city as bait.
While some may argue that this is a form of entrapment, police make sure that their bait isn’t set up to take advantage of a thieves unscrupulous habit of thievery. That means they won’t place, for example, a bait car with its windows rolled down and keys in the ignition.
A surprising statistic is how many repeat offenders they catch. According to their press release on the program’s success,
Nearly 80% of the suspects were either on probation, parole, or Post-Release Community Supervision.Over 70% had a prior felony conviction, and over 60% had an arrest for a crime of violence or possession of a weapon. 76% had committed a prior theft-related crime and over 60% had previously been arrested for drug-related criminal activity.
Although the reasons for why people steal run the gamut of one stupid decision to a pattern of bad life choices, it’s a crime Citrus Heights Police want to reduce. The main goal of the project is to get every possible criminal on the street to second guess their actions and to let them think that every car is a bait car or every lonely package on a porch is one that the police are watching.
It’s an innovative strategy that seems to be paying off. I’m sure the goal for them one day is to have theft-related crime drop significantly and to have their bait cars untouched from inactivity. Until then, thieves beware.