Bait Car

Bait Car

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Bait Car Definition

Bait Car (noun);

A bait car, or decoy car, is a program in effect by law enforcement to catch auto thieves. These bait cars are equipped with high tech gadgetry such as a GPS tracking system, audio and video recording (typically with cameras in the center of the dash board and in the rear view mirrors) and remote immobilizer. This immobilizer, referred to as a 'kill switch' within the law enforcement industry, allows the police to remotely disable the engine and lock all the car doors preventing the car thief from escaping.

How The Bait Car Program Works

The bait car trap is set up using different techniques in areas with a high rate of auto theft. One method is to leave valuable items in the car to catch the eye of potential car thieves. Another is to stage a traffic stop, the undercover police officer gets arrested, leaving the car. Yet another is to stage an incident where two undercover police officers are involved in an argument, getting out of the car and leaving in another car. Most times the keys are left in either the ignition, on the seat or on the roof of the car. The police monitor every bit of activity from a door opening to the ignition being started. Police use the cameras not only to capture the face of the auto thief in the act, but to determine how many suspects are in the car, whether they are armed and what they are planning.

The question has come up often of whether it is legal to use a bait car or if it is entrapment. Laws vary by region, but for the most part, if a car is left and monitored with no coercing it can not be considered entrapment. The main determining factor of whether police are using a bait car legally is if they leave it in normal circumstances, such as parked normally, not somewhat in the street with the door open which may tempt a person who normally wouldn't commit a crime.

How To File A Stolen Auto Police Report

The first step in any occurrence of theft is to report the incident to the police immediately. This helps you recover the stolen item if it gets confiscated and helps with an insurance claim process on the account an official police report is required to file a claim.

Here are the general steps to file a police report:

  1. Call the non-emergency phone number for the local police station or law enforcement agency where the item was stolen.
  2. Obtain the physical address and go to the police station or law enforcement agency.
  3. Once there, go to the stolen property department if applicable.
  4. While creating a stolen property police report it's important to provide the theft detective or clerk with as many details as possible, especially the item's serial number, any identifying marks or stickers. Also include when, where and how the item was stolen.
  5. Once you have completed the report, be sure to obtain a copy and retain it for follow-up and recovery.

It's important to file a police report for theft, no matter how big, small or valuable the stolen item is, because it helps the police know a thief's (or thieves) M.O. and to control theft by using crime data to increase patrol in areas with a high or rising crime rate. Sometimes an area's theft rate can skyrocket because people don't report theft incidents because the stolen item isn't of high monetary value. This is called petty theft and is how a petty thief can continue stealing because the police are not made aware of their activity.

How To Report A Stolen Auto Online

Get the world on your case! Here are the steps to create an online Stolen Auto report for free:

  1. If not yet registered, click the "Register" link at the top right-hand side of the page or click the "Report" button at page top.
  2. Enter your information and click the "Register" button.
  3. Open the email account used for registration, open the verification email and click the link in the email body or copy and paste it in your browser address bar and press the "Enter" or "Return" key.
  4. Log in to the Stolen Lost Found Online website
  5. Click the "Report" link in the main navigation bar or the "Report" button at page top.
  6. Select the appropriate category.
  7. Select the appropriate sub-category.
  8. Select to post as Stolen.
  9. Enter as much information about the Stolen Auto as possible - the make, model and serial number are especially important. Also helpful are any identifying marks and photos if available.
  10. Click the "Submit" button.

That's it. Once the Stolen Auto report is submitted it will post on Stolen Lost Found Online immediately and will appear on the search engines within a day. By reporting online you literally make a world of difference for recovering your Stolen Auto, long into the future.

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