Bait Item Arrests Continue to Go Strong
By Officer Tasia Martinez
The Albuquerque Police Property Crimes Division made their 100th arrest Friday in the bait item tactical operation.
Property Crimes Detectives say that this 100th catch comes as no surprise as they have seen the number of bait item arrests rapidly increase over the summer months.
The bait item initiative launched last December as an effort to address property crimes, specifically auto burglaries in the city. The concept was developed to combine real time data and predictive crime mapping technologies. It not only allows police to watch and respond as crimes occur, but allows them to predict where crime will happen in the future and curtail trends before they develop.
The operation has taken on new life as the bait car fleet has increased, the number of bait items has doubled and the program has expanded to a daily 24-hour operation with citywide coverage. As the program develops, the number o f arrests increase. Detectives say that at the start of the program they averaged 4 arrests a month. They now see an average of 10 to 12 arrests a month, with some months yielding as high as 20 arrests.
“If it’s getting stolen, it’s getting baited” says Property Crimes Lieutenant, Scott Lopez. “That, along with the crime mapping technology, is the key to the success of the program.”
The bait item operation continues to lead to the arrests of both career thieves and opportunists. Police hope to continue the success of the program and plant the seed of doubt in the criminal’s mind, making them wonder if the property they are tempted to steal belongs to APD and will be their direct ticket to jail.