Burglars be warned, the city of Gaithersburg has a new tool to catch you in the act.
The city announced Tuesday the launch of its "Anti-Theft Vehicle" program, featuring a vehicle operated by the police and containing valuable items to draw attention to it.
The "bait car" is equipped to immediately notify officers when a theft or attempted theft is made, and the criminal activity of the suspect is video recorded, according to the city. It will frequently be left unlocked and in locations identified as a high theft from vehicle area.
The most common occurring crime in Gaithersburg is theft, city police spokesperson Dan Lane told Patch. "The trend of thefts from vehicles over the last two years has averaged about 20 a month and is spread throughout [Gaithersburg] with some fluctuations," he said.
A drug seized, forfeited vehicle acquired from a drug arrest, the bait car comes at no cost to the city, Lane said. Police Chief Mark P. Sroka said the car continues the fight by city police to prevent the common offense.
“Theft from vehicles is a crime of opportunity and can occur in every state, city and neighborhood,” Sroka said. “Because this type of crime is common throughout the city of Gaithersburg and the entire metropolitan area, the Gaithersburg Police Department is taking a proactive approach to reduce the incidents of thefts from vehicles.”
To ensure future investigations would not be compromised, Lane would not divulge what specific items would be placed in the bait car. Items such as iPods, computers and wallets are commonly reported stolen from vehicles in the weekly crime summary provided by Montgomery County police.
For more information, visit the city of Gaithersburg website.