APD ramps up bait car efforts

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- APD says they are ramping up their bait car efforts and are increasing the odds cars thieves will be thrown in jail.

Police say car theft is a difficult crime to catch. Thieves make off with a vehicle then quickly cover their tracks, by ditching the car, changing the VIN or taking it to a chop shop. APD is now taking additional steps to stop car crooks in the act.

APD Property Crime Lt. Paul Szych says these kinds of criminals are cunning and pros at what they do. It’s why police want to stay one step ahead, by changing their tactics and out-smarting the thieves.

“We feel that if we are not constantly innovative and constantly improving in what we do that eventually the thieves will get out in front of our efforts and we certainly are not going to let that happen,” explains Lt. Szych.

Instead of the same sting month after month, cops are switching out their bait cars on a regular basis and changing the vehicles’ looks, making it tougher to tell which cars are planted.

Lt. Szych said they’re also using crime stats to identify hot spots- places with higher crime- to ensure they’re putting their bait cars, bait items and undercover operations in the right place at the right time.

“We’re making sure that we go where we think the predatory larceny suspects, the predatory auto theft suspects are looking for new victims,” Lt Szych said.

He hopes just by making criminals aware of their new tactics will cut down on crime.

Between 2010 and February 2013, police caught more than 80 people in bait cars. Last year, APD added more bait cars to its fleet.

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