Death Car On the Freeway


Reader Brinck Slattery notes some proactive policing from our neighbors to the north: Bait Car. The premise is simple: Cops leave a vulnerable-looking car out in the wild, wait for somebody to steal it, then bust him, with full video and audio of the bait car's interior. These programs are also widespread in the USA, but the cops of British Columbia have put together a wonderful Bait Car site, which shows the videos without narration but with written introductions that read like a slightly more sedate, Canadianized version of Sheriff John Bunnell. ("The driver in this video is grooving to tunes before he notices police following him." "This is the most chilling bait car video that seasoned auto theft investigators from around the world have ever seen." "Instead, all three are arrested despite the high hopes of the female passenger who states, 'I hope this isn't another f**k'in bait car man!")

Some questions: Why do the cops seem to let these perps enjoy the bait car for so long? The whole point would seem to be that they can get to the bait car almost immediately, and follow it anywhere the thief drives, and they also apparently have the ability to disable the engine remotely. So why does the "ONCOMING! ONCOMING!" guy (video highly recommended) get a full 32 minutes behind the wheel of the bait car, during which he stops and breaks into three different cars, crashes into three others, and finally leaves the bait car behind as he steals yet another car?

Depending on how broadly you define entrapment, you may have some problems with the whole concept, but I have to admit I don't think enough bad things can happen to thieves. So as Sheriff John Bunnell would say: Whether you're a joyriding juvenile or a hardened hotwirer, if you take the Bait you'll be rooked, hooked, and booked!