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Bad Boys Bad Boys - whatcha gonna do?

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Guest macboy

From Today's Miami Herald:

UP FRONT | LAW ENFORCEMENT

Technology tricks trip up car thieves

Would-be car thieves, beware. In North Miami, cops have wired several cars with high-tech gadgets aimed at nabbing crooks.

BY DAVID OVALLE

[email protected]

No one is looking. The thief jimmies the door of the sedan, the kind with the lovable, bland charm that seems to appeal to, well, everyone.

The thief eases the car onto an empty street and into the night.

Suddenly the door locks snap shut, the engine dies. The stereo unexpectedly blares.

`Bad boys, bad boys. Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?'

Police lights flash. Busted.

This is what North Miami cops are hoping for this month when they deploy several ''bait cars'' featuring satellite tracking and other snazzy gadgets aimed at luring -- and trapping -- car thieves.

And yes, they plan on wiring them to play Bad Boys, the theme song to the popular reality show Cops.

As the technology for such cars becomes more available, auto insurance industry experts say police departments are catching on. At least 100 departments across the country have bait car programs.

''They're becoming more popular,'' said Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau. 'It's a pretty effective technique -- it's a nice `Gotcha!' ''

North Miami's program is believed to be the first in Miami-Dade County and one of few in Florida -- the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office uses bait cars. The Broward Sheriff's Office does not use such cars.

PRIME TARGET

With more than 20,000 vehicles stolen in 2002, the last year for which data was available, the Greater Miami area ranked as the sixth-busiest region for auto thieves, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

In North Miami, 813 vehicles were stolen last year, according to police.

With the city growing and on the verge of massive redevelopment, police brass are eager to get the bait car program running.

And auto thieves are hard to catch.

''It is pure luck. To pull up behind someone who actually stole a car is pure chance,'' said Steve Melvin, a North Miami auto theft detective. ``I'd say only one in 20 vehicles recovered have someone behind the wheel.''

North Miami got the equipment, which costs about $4,000 per car, from the Canadian company BSM Wireless, which maintains an office in Islamorada. The detectives attended training courses and installed the equipment themselves.

`WORD GETS OUT'

The technology's most visible success has been in Minneapolis, where a program was launched in 1997. In its first two years there, officials credited bait cars with reducing auto thefts citywide by more than 25 percent.

''Advertise, advertise, advertise. The word gets out,'' said Minneapolis Officer Wayne Johnson, an auto theft investigator who helped create the program.

``To a degree, it's a deterrent. But we still got guys jumping in the cars, talking to themselves, wondering if it's a bait car, but yet they stay in it.''

THE WAY IT WORKS

As in Minneapolis, North Miami police understandably shy away from disclosing too many details, lest the crooks know too much. But here's what they can say:

Detectives will plant the unlocked cars -- the models are chosen for their popularity with car thieves -- in high-crime areas of the city.

When the thief starts the car, a bugle-like alert sounds on the computer of emergency dispatchers at North Miami police headquarters.

''It's not entrapment. We don't tell anyone to drive off,'' said Detective Alanzo Rhymer, who helped install the equipment.

Then, dispatchers will alert patrol officers and can track the car via a Global Positioning Satellite system.

A hidden camera and microphone will record the thieves as they drive.

A supervisor decides the safest place to disable the car. With the press of a button, the car dawdles, then dies, and the doors lock, allowing officers to swoop in for the arrest.

Then, of course, comes the Cops song.

''Every time they hear the song or see the television show,'' said North Miami Maj. Larry Juriga, smiling, ``it'll remind them of their unpleasant experience in jail.''

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Guest cutchemist
`WORD GETS OUT'

The technology's most visible success has been in Minneapolis, where a program was launched in 1997. In its first two years there, officials credited bait cars with reducing auto thefts citywide by more than 25 percent.

''Advertise, advertise, advertise. The word gets out,'' said [glow=red,2,300]Minneapolis Officer Wayne Johnson[/glow], an auto theft investigator who helped create the program.

``To a degree, it's a deterrent. But we still got guys jumping in the cars, talking to themselves, wondering if it's a bait car, but yet they stay in it.''

WOOT - WOOT

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bla bla bla

onstar is helping down the auto theift issue, but miami is so poor thier 1976 pinto doesn't have onstar.

In due time, there will be zero car theifs a year.

right now in affluent areas they have to stash a car for a few days to see if it has onstar or lojack.

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MOST STOLEN VEHICLES OF 2002

NICBCCC

Toyota Camry 1989 Toyota Camry

Honda Accord 1991 Toyota Camry

Honda Civic 1990 Toyota Camry

Oldsmobile Cutlass 2000 Honda Civic Si

Jeep Grand Cherokee 1994 Honda Accord EX

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 1994 Chevrolet C1500 4X2

Toyota Corolla 1995 Honda Accord EX

Ford Taurus 1988 Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Caprice Classic 1994 Honda Accord LX

Ford F-150 1996 Honda Accord LX

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Guest JMT

this truck wasnt made in 2002.

POSTED TODAY: (OCT 18th 2004)

"Cadillac Escalade EXT, a $53,000 chrome-trimmed luxury pickup with leather bucket seats, seven-speaker stereo system with satellite radio and a global tracking system, most sought after car by thieves... Developing..."

(SOURCE: THE DRUDGE REPORT)

camry might be #1 in volume, while the EXT is #1 in rate of incidents.

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this truck wasnt made in 2002.

POSTED TODAY: (OCT 18th 2004)

"Cadillac Escalade EXT, a $53,000 chrome-trimmed luxury pickup with leather bucket seats, seven-speaker stereo system with satellite radio and a global tracking system, most sought after car by thieves... Developing..."

(SOURCE: THE DRUDGE REPORT)

camry might be #1 in volume, while the EXT is #1 in rate of incidents.

the math doesn't add up. the caddy has far far far fewer cars on the road than the accords and camrys, and I bet you they get 85% of the caddys back with in an hour of they noticing it's gone.

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this truck wasnt made in 2002.

POSTED TODAY: (OCT 18th 2004)

"Cadillac Escalade EXT, a $53,000 chrome-trimmed luxury pickup with leather bucket seats, seven-speaker stereo system with satellite radio and a global tracking system, most sought after car by thieves... Developing..."

(SOURCE: THE DRUDGE REPORT)

camry might be #1 in volume, while the EXT is #1 in rate of incidents.

the math doesn't add up. the caddy has far far far fewer cars on the road than caddy, and I bet you they get 85% of the caddys back with in an hour of they noticing it's gone.

what????

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Guest JMT

this truck wasnt made in 2002.

POSTED TODAY: (OCT 18th 2004)

"Cadillac Escalade EXT, a $53,000 chrome-trimmed luxury pickup with leather bucket seats, seven-speaker stereo system with satellite radio and a global tracking system, most sought after car by thieves... Developing..."

(SOURCE: THE DRUDGE REPORT)

camry might be #1 in volume, while the EXT is #1 in rate of incidents.

the math doesn't add up. the caddy has far far far fewer cars on the road than caddy, and I bet you they get 85% of the caddys back with in an hour of they noticing it's gone.

HELLO, thats why i said "rate of incidents." the number stolen in relation to the number sold, is higher.

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