Dallas surveillance video shows Donnie Hogg snatching an electronic device from a parked car. With it, authorities said, they have Hogg dead to rights, says the Dallas Morning News. Hogg, a seven-time felon, was ensnared by a program that involves leaving decoy vehicles with valuables inside them that can be tracked when stolen. The thefts are recorded by surveillance cameras. Police hope to build rock-solid cases for a crime that often goes unsolved and accounts for nearly 30 percent of the city’s overall crime numbers. Authorities have made 10 arrests since starting the program in January.
“If we have their pictures on the video, there’s no disputing they were in the car,” said Assistant Chief Vince Golbeck. Police have two video-equipped vehicles for the program. Golbeck paid for the video surveillance equipment for one vehicle from his own pocket. A neighborhood association raised money to outfit another. Officials are planning to raise money for more. Deputy Chief Malik Aziz said vehicle burglary numbers have dropped by more than 600 compared with last year in the city’s northwest patrol area, where the first decoy car was used beginning in January. “The general premise is that every thief commits 75 to 100 offenses before police can put them in jail,” he said. Authorities are hiding tracking devices in every kind of object conceivable – from Christmas presents to golf clubs.