New Yorkers may want to think twice about picking up an unattended bag or cell phone they find on the subway, says NY1 News. It could be part of a police sting operation called Operation Lucky Bag. Police officers leave items to see who takes them. If they are not returned, the person who found it is arrested and charged with petty larceny. The group 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement and civil rights attorney Norman Spiegel say the operation violates people’s civil rights. “It raises the question of whether there’s entrapment,” said Siegel. The black law enforcement group said the stings are a waste of department resources.
Police says 164 law abiding citizens have turned in the bags since the operation started last January, and they say those they have arrested tend to be career criminals. One hundred and one “Lucky Bag” suspects arrested since January had 761 prior arrests among them, for robbery, rape, attempted murder of a police officer, and other serious offenses, said a police official. Police say stealing in the subway has dropped 13 percent since the operation began.