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.