Monday, March 29, 2004

Catching car thieves with high-tech bait cars.
Police load the vehicles with an array of technology, including a global positioning satellite tracking system, computers, video equipment and cell phones, transforming them into eyes and ears. The cars are left in the top auto theft spots based on crime analysis and police and citizen tips.

When a thief makes an attempt to steal or burglarize the car, sensors send a signal that notifies police dispatchers who contact a patrol officer who then follows the car. At the same time, auto theft investigators are paged and the videotape begins to roll.

The GPS tracking computer software maps the car's location in real time, and at any time, the officer can make the decision to remotely shut down the engine and lock the car doors, trapping the thief inside.
Some of these videos have been aired on local television, and they are very popular with the public. (Via Techdirt.)