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04-14-13, 11:46 AM #1
Controversy over NYPD's "baiting" of thieves by leaving unattended items in public placesSometimes the bait is a small amount of cash in a stray wallet. Or a credit card. Even a pack of cigarettes can do the trick.Police in New York City leave the items unattended — on subway platforms, on park benches, in cars — and wait to see if someone grabs them.The New York Police Department says the practice has been a valuable tool for catching career criminals and deterring thefts in public places. But a recent court ruling throwing out a larceny case against a Bronx woman cast a harsh light on a tactic critics say too often sweeps up innocent people.
A typical scenario was for a plainclothes officer to place a handbag with cash on a train platform and briefly look or step away. Anyone who took the bag, then passed up chances to return it to the undercover cop or to report it to a uniformed officer posted nearby could be locked up.At the time, police credited the subway operation with driving down crime there. They say they still use the tactic when they see a spike in thefts of personal property in public places such as Grand Central Terminal or Central Park. But they now require more evidence of intent — a suspect trying to hide a wallet or taking cash out of it and throwing it away — before making an arrest.
04-14-13, 02:45 PM #2The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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The description of the case in the Bronx seems fishy. All it describes is "looking" into the bait car. I'm skeptical that they'd have arrested her for merely eyeballing the stuff...
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