‘Bait Cars’ Help Officers Catch Holiday Thieves

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'Tis the season for holiday heists and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is loaning out specially equipped cars to help police catch present pilferers.

The bait cars are designed to look like normal cars parked during some holiday shopping, explains Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

"We may even put a baby on board sticker or something on the car, make it look like a real person's car, but they are wired up," said DeWine.

The surveillance cameras in the bait cars stream video to the officers waiting to catch possible criminals.

“They can watch in real time on a video screen or they can watch through their cell phone what's going on and then when someone breaks into that car, we've got them," said DeWine.

Local agencies can request bait cars for areas that have been hit hard by thieves, like shopping malls.

DeWine says the cars help put a stop to a frustrating problem that's common around the holidays.

"That may not be the most serious crime that occurs in Ohio, but it drives people crazy and it's very very prevalent, particularly around the Christmas season," said DeWine.

The cars have been in use for the last couple of years, but recently, DeWine says law enforcement agencies are using them more and more.

The cars were used to make two arrests in Grove City in an area that had had a number of break-ins during the past month.