Naples Cops Have Too Much Time on Their Hands

Naples police conducted a “bait” operation last Friday. They left a bag and phone on a table at the mall, and waited for someone to walk off with it. While obviously it is theft to walk off with other people’s property, is this the kind of operation that justifies a multi-officer undercover sting operation. Or is this just a cheap way for them to pad their numbers.

Here’s why it was a really ‘cheap’ arrest. It only takes $300 for a theft to become a felony grand theft. By leaving a fancy I-Phone and sunglasses, the cops ensured that they could charge this guy with a felony instead of just a misdemeanor. You’d think that for a charge to be a Grand Theft, it would need to involve at least a grand. You’d be wrong. I don’t support theft, but there has to be something better for these cops to be doing than setting up petty thieves for felonies. In fact, it’s a rather expensive arrest, between the several detectives used to run the operation to processing an enhanced charge in the justice system. It probably costs several times as much to prosecute a felony case than a misdemeanor, so it is the citizens of Florida that pay for this aggressiveness.

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/20957335/1-arrested-in-bait-operation-at-coastland-mall

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2 responses to “Naples Cops Have Too Much Time on Their Hands

  1. Is there any evidence that shows this kind of trap as a deterrent? If so, it may prove more useful in some areas where theft of this kind is quantifiably more significant (which could possibly affect perceptions of tourists and the sections of the economy that are influenced by the money they bring in e.g. this article: http://news.travel.aol.com/2010/10/04/safe-and-dangerous-places-in-honolulu/). Especially if it is done methodically over the course of several months. The cost of conducting these baited traps could be justified if they show a greater benefit to the community as a whole. However, the setup seems like it may cause some innocent people harm. If I saw something like that left unattended, I might pick it up to bring it to mall security and then possibly become arrested for a crime I was not committing. I guess that’s getting into the details of the setup, but I imagine I’m not the only person who would do something like that. Yet, certainly there are more troubling crimes which the police could pursue.

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