Law Enforcement To Thieves: Steal This Car, Please
Clark County, Wash., has deployed a bait car equipped with tracking technologies, including the Global Positioning System and sensor equipment, to catch car thieves.
Officers can use the car to catch thieves by leaving it parked for weeks in high-crime areas or set sting operations in which officers monitor theft attempts.
Washington State Police (WSP) Garvin March noted that officers can respond to the car’s theft “within minutes.”
Vehicle thefts increased in Clark County from 856 to 1,385 from 2000 to 2001, reports the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs.
Training to track the car only requires a single day and police can modify or change the color of the vehicle to confuse thieves who become familiar with its appearance.
WSP dispatchers in Tacoma monitor the bait cars’ sensor signals through a special computer. Insurance companies provide the bait cars free of charge.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Vancouver Columbian (WA) (02/13/04) P. A1; Branton, John.