Taking The Bait

Demmi Elder and her friends are at Dorostkar Park getting ready to float down the Truckee River.

The county park is a popular one.

Washoe County Sheriff's Office says it's a perfect place for car burglars to break into cars--a crime that happens to increase during the summer months when school lets out.

“If there are people breaking in, there is not much we can do except hide our stuff and hope nobody gets into it,” says Elder.

About two miles from Dorostkar the Michael D. Thompson trial head hikers weren't as lucky.

Washoe County Sheriff's detectives say their cars were targeted by burglars after the hikers left their cars.

Detectives used a bait car, parked it in the lot, and had undercover officers watching and waiting in the area.

“Everything functions as a normal car would, but what they don't know is there are hidden cameras in there. In the most recent Michael Thompson Trail head, we used it more as targeting car burglaries versus vehicle theft,” says Sargent Tom Green with Washoe County Sheriff's Office.

There's broken glass in the parking lot.

Deputies say 21 year old Nicholas Walther broke the bait car's window and took a lap top and GPS system.

20 year old Flor Lopez faces conspiracy to commit burglary charges.

21-year old Maria Aguinaga faces marijuana possession charges.

A seventeen year old was also arrested in the case.

This won't be the last time you hear about the "bait" car.

Deputies say they'll place it in parking lots or streets where their intelligence gathering tells them there's a problem.

Chances are you won't be able to tell the difference between it and other cars parked..that's the point.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau gives fully equipped “Bait” cars to law enforcement around the country.


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