The Minneapolis Police Department’s Bait Vehicle Program was recognized by the Anti-Vehicle Crime Association of Minnesota (AVCAM) at an award ceremony on Tuesday, March 23. Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan accepted the award on behalf of the department.
The Bait Vehicle Program involves the use of specially equipped vehicles placed throughout the city in the hopes they will be stolen by would-be car thieves. The Minneapolis program has resulted in 340 persons being charged for auto theft as a result of attempting to steal one of the bait cars with only one defendant opting to go to trial. Additionally, during the 12 years that the program has been in effect in Minneapolis Part 1 crime is down 46.8 percent. For the same period auto theft is down 68.2 percent.
The Minneapolis Police Department was one of the pioneers in Bait Vehicle programs across the country and the program has been successfully replicated by a number of agencies around North America due to its continued success in combating auto theft.
The Anti-Vehicle Crime Association of Minnesota is comprised of approximately 100 members from law enforcement, property insurance companies, and others active in combating vehicle theft. For 25 years AVCAM has encouraged and assisted in promoting anti-vehicle theft activities. These include training seminars, programs providing prevention tips to the public, and supporting the 1-800-HEAT-TIP line, which provides monetary awards for information leading to recovery of stolen vehicles and the prosecution of auto theft suspects.