Bait Cars Prove Successful in Preventing Auto Theft

3 years 4 days 9 hours ago July 22, 2013 Jul 22, 2013 Monday, July 22 2013 Monday, July 22, 2013 1:34:00 PM CDT in News
By: Jasmine Bailey, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Auto theft in Columbia has decreased by nearly half since 2007 when a bait car program began, according the former police officer who started it.

The ordinariness of the cars is what makes the program so successful, said Steve Brown, who still works with the Columbia Police Department as a civilian.

"I try to make them look like any other car on the street."

Some bait cars are planted with valuables and the doors are sometimes left unlocked with the keys in the ignition to make them attractive to criminals. If someone enters the car a hidden camera will capture their face so if they take anything the police can easily tract them down.

"We had a trend that was going on of an increase of a substantial amount of theft of motor vehicles, it was something that was becoming a problem in the city," he said.

Brown would not allow KOMU 8 News to view any of the cars used, but did show some grainy footage from a hidden camera inside one of the vehicles.

In cases when someone drives away in a bait car, officers use a GPS locator to find the car. They can also control the locks, horn and even turn off the engine all from a computer program.

In 2007, 2.30 cars of every 1,000 in Columbia were stolen. By 2009, the number was down to 1.29 and remained steady.

Brown said the program is no secret. He said he wants criminals to know about it because deterrence is a part of the program's success.

But, he also said the biggest factor in preventing motor vehicle thefts is the community and car owners. That's a lesson University of Missouri student Nicholas Colbert learned quickly.

After watching his friend's car get stolen, he now takes the proper precautions to keep the same thing from happening to him.

"I make sure I always lock the car doors and roll the windows all the way up before leaving it unattended," he said.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Weathertech Restoration, LLC and its owner, Eric Kroesen, agreed to settlement Monday after taking upfront payments for... More >>
20 minutes ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 4:30:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jon Patrick Washington was sentenced five years in federal prison without parole for injecting heroin into a... More >>
45 minutes ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 4:05:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Senate hopeful Jason Kander made a stop at Logboat Brewing Co. on the second day of his 50-stop... More >>
1 hour ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 3:26:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Jefferson City Police Department issued an Endangered Person Advisory for Kelley L. Clark after an incident occurred... More >>
1 hour ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 3:14:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The iconic Columbia pizza place Shakespeare's gave KOMU 8 News an inside look at its new building on... More >>
2 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 2:41:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Schnucks is having a shortage in fresh items and many shelves are empty at the store on Forum... More >>
2 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 2:25:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia voters will decide whether to raise the lodging tax from four percent to five percent on the... More >>
2 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 2:12:47 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Public Works Department provided more insight Monday on what will be done to clean Hinkson... More >>
2 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 1:59:00 PM CDT in News
MOBERLY - Gov. Jay Nixon announced Tuesday Randolph County has become the 34th county to be a Certified Work Ready... More >>
3 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 1:46:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a body pulled from the Mississippi River at St. Louis is a 29-year-old kayaker... More >>
4 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 11:54:00 AM CDT in News
ARNOLD, Mo. (AP) — A suburban St. Louis woman is dead after being struck by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 55... More >>
5 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 11:14:47 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - We all know that sunscreen is incredibly important. Especially if we are spending a lot of time outside... More >>
5 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 11:11:00 AM CDT in News
MEXICO- Dayton Durham will face a minimum of five years in prison after a jury found him guilty Monday of... More >>
6 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 10:25:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The University of Missouri-St. Louis has set a record for the number of degrees awarded. ... More >>
7 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 8:55:33 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A group of atheists has sued Kansas City, Missouri , officials over the planned use of... More >>
8 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 8:35:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- Residents of the central neighborhood area of Columbia are invited to a meeting Tuesday to discuss problems in their... More >>
8 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 8:05:00 AM CDT in News
CHARLESTON (AP) — Police in the southeast Missouri town of Charleston say a man found dead was killed in self-defense.... More >>
8 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 7:54:35 AM CDT in News
BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS (AP) — A husband and wife in their 70s who were allegedly shot by a 13-year-old girl last... More >>
9 hours ago July 26, 2016 Jul 26, 2016 Tuesday, July 26 2016 Tuesday, July 26, 2016 7:41:43 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 85°
5pm 89°
6pm 88°
7pm 87°
8pm 83°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00p
Dr. Phil
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:30p
The Cleveland Show
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
NBC News Special: 2016 Democratic National Convention
7:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
7:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:00p
MADtv
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld