During the holiday season it's typical for law enforcement officials to advise shoppers on how to avoid becoming a victim of thieves that strike during the holidays.
This year, Ohio's Attorney General is issuing a warning to criminals.
"Thieves who think they can get away with breaking into cars during the busy shopping season, or any time of year for that matter, should remember that law enforcement is watching," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Agents with the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) are offering local law enforcement the use of several "bait cars" to assist in car break-in investigations.
The cars are outfitted with multiple cameras both inside and outside the vehicles. "These thieves troll parking lots and neighborhoods, breaking into every car with something valuable inside. This is not okay, and that's why we are proactively working to stop this," DeWine said. The cameras activate when motion is detected near the vehicle, the equipment then sends a live feed of the crime-in-progress to law enforcement. Police in Grove City, Ohio, recently made two arrests after the suspects allegedly worked together to break into a bait car.
The car was stationed in an area that had been the target of a number of recent car break-ins over the past month. "These cars are a tremendous resource for law enforcement," said Grove City Police Captain Jeffrey Pearson. "We knew when these break-ins were happening and where, and through the partnership with the Bureau of Criminal Invesigation, we were able to catch our suspects in the act."The bait cars are being offered free of charge to all law enforcement agencies in the state.Ohioans can also decrease their likelyhood of becoming a victim by following these tips:. Do not leave anything valuable in plain view. Always keep your purse or wallet with you. Lock all purchases in the trunk. Park in well-lit areas. Be aware of your surroundings