Arlington, Texas, police have judged as successful their two-month “bait car” program, where unlocked cars equipped with tracking devices and video cameras are placed in areas commonly targeted by thieves. Arlington has arrested five people, including two juveniles, since the department began the program in July, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Fort Worth police, who started the program in April, have arrested 37 people accused of attempting to steal vehicles.
The program is popular because police don’t have to dedicate an officer to watch the cars for 24 hours, said Arlington Police Chief Theron Bowman. “It’s just like a call for service,” he said. “Whenever there’s a call, the officer in the area responds.” Arlington’s effort is part of the National Insurance Crime Bureau Covert Organized Bait, Recovery and Apprehension, or COBRA, program. Funds for the initiative are provided through the bureau, the Texas Automobile Theft Prevention Authority, and government grants.