Dallas Police Adding Bait Houses and Businesses To Their Thief-Catching Technology

Categories: Crime

back door on bait house.jpg

The City Council's getting briefed this week on "community policing," the Dallas Police Department's ongoing effort to get residents involved in preventing crime in their neighborhoods. This last came up in December, when Chief David Brown and McGruff the Crime Dog came to visit council members and enthusiastically high-five Scott Griggs.

In advance of this week's talk, DPD sent over an in-depth presentation about new crime fighting efforts, including several eye-catching things we'd never heard of before. Chief among them: decoy houses and businesses designed to lure thieves.

Although bait buildings might be new (at least in Dallas -- they've been utilized before in Alabama and Missouri, among other states), bait cars aren't. These are ordinary-looking vehicles with thief-enticing stuff like laptops clearly visible inside; when someone inevitably breaks into the car, police are notified, the thief is tracked, and the theme from Cops plays triumphantly. You'll recall too that DPD's bait car program was briefly suspended after a thief stole a bait car then slammed it into the vehicle of 83-year-old Anna Reyes, killing her. The city ultimately paid $245,000 to settle a wrongful death suit brought by Reyes' family.

Bait houses, according to the briefing, are meant to address burglaries of vacant or under-construction homes. The houses will be stocked with stealable items that are fitted with GPS technology, enabling cops to track and catch the people boosting them. They're also outfitted with surveillance cameras: The briefing shows a grainy picture of someone looking hopefully around a kitchen stocked with appliance boxes. But DPD's press office couldn't tell us this morning if there are any bait houses currently in operation or if they've actually caught any would-be thieves.

Bait businesses aren't in use yet, the briefing says, but they'd like to start that program soon too. No, police won't set up a fake 7-Eleven manned entirely by sultry female detectives. They'd like to persuade existing businesses to let them put GPS-tagged items in the store. The global positioning system trackers would be turned on after hours, so officers could track them when they "leave the store," as the presentation puts it.

The whole technology section of the briefing is worth a look, for more information on license plate readers, "undetectable" hidden cameras downtown and other things that may either make you feel safe or unsettled, depending on how many times you've seen Minority Report.


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19 comments
Steve
Steve

So why aren't you using one of Admiral Ackbar's  childhood pictures??

Clancey
Clancey

Old timers recall the early 80s,  legendary Vice Squad's Rummy and Dummy opened a convenience store about  where JR's is now on Cedar Springs.   They put out word that they were fencing anything that could brought in,  any other crime anybody needed help with,   they were the men to see.

Lasted a month or two,  they threw a big thank-you party for all their customers.

Back then Cedar Springs was filled with black Ladies of Negotiable Affection.   Some had been taking merchandise for their services,  fencing it with R&D.

R&D were best known for dressing up as Santa Clauses on Christmas Eve,  busting a paddy wagon full of ladies who made offers to 'em.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Can one volunteer their house for this?  And can we keep the appliances if so?

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

+1,000 for whoever put in the Admiral Ackbar thumbnail

IT'S A TRAP!!!!!

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Do they have to hire a master baiter to come up with these strategies?

Texasdave60
Texasdave60

I need either more coffee or balvenie: Alabama and Missouri are cities?

Joe Tone
Joe Tone

Wallet on the table, cell phone on the car seat, doors unlocked: My whole life is one big bait life, only without the GPS part of it. 

Uncle_Scrappy
Uncle_Scrappy

I see that picture of the BAIT HOUSE and made me think of those 20/20 news shows where they lured people in to meet with young girls to have Sex.

My only issue is this. Are they going to arrest people for just going into a Open House/Under construction, or are they going to wait until they take off with the goods. I know I have walked thru many Houses under construction to look at the construction methods & such. Never took anything, but I guess you could charge me with TRESPASSING if they post signs or such.

Somehow I dont think just being there should be a crime. Now take materials or goods that dont belong to you. Then your BUTT should be in Jail. Same way I disagreed with prosecuting people for just showing up at some residence where they were led to believe they would have sex with a juvinile which was an ADULT. Somehow that seemed to be "We are accusing you of a Crime, you havent commitied, but we believe you would have commited" Kinda like that Tom Cruise future movie where they had a PRE-CRIME division. We prosecute you before you commit the crime to help save the victim. HMMMM, but if I didnt commit the crime, how can I be accused of a crime. How about it Schutze, enlighten me on that one.

Mickister
Mickister

 I noticed that, also. 

I prefer to think Anna doesn't know Alabama and Missouri aren't cities.  Unfortunately, the more likely case is that somewhere in between writing about Dallas, Alabama, and Missouri, going back and hitting delete, and copying and pasting other thoughts, she just ended up writing a sentence that didn't say what she wanted it to say.

Anna Merlan
Anna Merlan

No sir, it is I who needs much more coffee. Much, much more. It's fixed and will appear in a non-idiot phrasing shortly. Thank you.

Jn Brown
Jn Brown

your phone is easily trackable sorry.  p.s. take the battery out when not in use

Anna Merlan
Anna Merlan

Also, month-old babies are notorious kleptos. Check the crib for any missing credit cards. Just saying. 

John Burton
John Burton

 "I know I have walked thru many Houses under construction to look at the construction methods & such. Never took anything, but I guess you could charge me with TRESPASSING if they post signs or such."I hear you, but you could get shot doing that.

Phelps
Phelps

Scrappy, I think they are using locked houses.  I am assuming you mean going through framed but not finished houses, not that you were forcing doors and actually breaking in.  That's what they show above.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

anyone sending dong pics to someone they think is underage and then shows up at a house they believe to be a place where the minor lives deserves to be arrested.  I dont want that dude roaming the streets looking for my kids house if Im outta town.

As for the bait house, they are probably gonna wait until you walk out with the stove or microwave.  Its not a gainst the law to walk through houses under construction

Uncle_Scrappy
Uncle_Scrappy

Didnt say anything about sending photos or such. Words and sentences arent illegal unless you live in a Socialist or Communist country. Even showing up somewhere isnt illegal. The problem is we have villified this so much we dont care how much we push the line to convict those we percieve as being perverted. Never mind about Right, Wrong or Justice. Also you say "Dude" why is it always Males. I have read many stories in the news in the last year where Women have been convicted of having Sex with Minor Students. Once again, a preconcieved perception you have.

My main concern about justice is the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Sometimes we lose sight of the basic principles in them when they dont go along with what WE feel is right. Sometimes RIGHT isnt always the popular choice

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

It's still trespassing, Merk. If idiots find a way to put a nail through their foot or fall down a set of stairs that doesn't have the railings in yet, I bet they'd contemplate suing the builder--that's why most construction sites are marked with warnings. It just doesn't get caught or enforced much.

Jn Brown
Jn Brown

because conspiracy to commit a crime is a crime. simple

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