Saturday, June 04, 2005

a better mousetrap

A new website launched about ten days ago featuring bait car videos.

What exactly is a bait car? Here is the explanation:

A bait car is a vehicle of any type that is owned by the police and is intended to be stolen. It is parked in high auto crime areas and left there, sometimes for an hour, other times for days. Once the vehicle is stolen, police are immediately dispatched to the moving bait car. Once police are following the bait car, the engine is disabled remotely and the suspects are arrested. Everything that is said and done by the suspects inside the bait car is recorded on audio and video which is used for court purposes. The bait car program began in Greater Vancouver on May 1, 2004 and was expanded to Vancouver Island in April 2005. A further expansion to the interior of BC is under active discussion.

And why are bait cars necessary in our part of the country and in my city specifically? The statistics speak for themselves:

[...]In the city of Surrey alone 8,000 vehicles were stolen from this city of 390,000 people. This was the highest auto theft year in the region's history after a steady increase for the previous decade. The next year, 2004, brought with it the introduction of the bait car program which is partly responsible for a 10% reduction in auto theft in Greater Vancouver - the first decline in ten years. [Read entire

Though watching criminals freaking out in the actual bait car videos posted on the site is pretty hilarious, and though, according to the article, the jail time these car thieves are being given is lengthening, there’s still a problem with slap-on-the-wrist sentences for car thieves, especially those who are young offenders (caught red-handed but between 12 to 17). They’re usually back out on the street within hours.

So I have another project for Tim Shields: design some sort of mousetrap to catch and expose those soft lawmakers and judges!


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