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November 29, 2004

Measure is an effort to put a crimp in vehicle theft rates, lower investigation/insurance costs

A thief slips into a car, hot-wires the ignition and drives off. But within blocks, the car mysteriously shuts off, the doors lock and police swoop in. Busted.

Dozens of police departments are catching car thieves just like this, with new, high-tech "bait cars" that officers can track - and control - from afar.

Bait cars are a tantalizing weapon in combating one of the nation's most common and costly crimes. Some police departments credit bait-car programs with reducing auto thefts by more than 25 percent. Insurance companies like the idea so much that some have begun buying bait cars for police.

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Posted by Tom Troceen