Bait Car (TV series)

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Bait Car
Bait Car logo.png
GenreCrimereality
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes135
Production
Producer(s)KKI Productions
Running time30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelCourt TV (now truTV)
Original airingAugust 6, 2007 (2007-08-06)
External links
Website
 
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Bait Car
Bait Car logo.png
GenreCrimereality
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes135
Production
Producer(s)KKI Productions
Running time30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelCourt TV (now truTV)
Original airingAugust 6, 2007 (2007-08-06)
External links
Website

Bait Car is an American television series airing on the truTV network. The show depicts would-be car thieves caught in the act of auto theft. Police target criminals with a high-tech bait car, rigged with hidden cameras and radio trackers. Footage is shown from the in car cameras, fixed cameras on police cars and film crews with the police officers.

Production and broadcast history[edit]

The Bait Car series premiered on August 6, 2007 on Court TV (now truTV). Season two of the show premiered in August 2009 on truTV, and season three premiered in June 2010. The first three seasons of the show were primarily shot in Los Angeles and New Orleans. After nearly four months with no new episodes, Bait Car began airing a fourth season in December 2010 on Mondays at 8:30pm EST. Shot in San Francisco, this fourth season was produced by KKI Productions, and a 2007 Honda Accord was used as the bait car.[1] Season 5 aired from January 2012 to October 2012. The show has not yet been renewed for a sixth season.

Format[edit]

In this crime reality series, teams of undercover officers drive the bait car to areas with high rates of auto theft, where they park it and leave it unattended with the engine running. The idea is that would-be car thieves will hop in and drive away. Unbeknownst to the criminals, a hidden camera and a radio tracker have been placed on the dashboard, and a police force is watching their every move. The thief is then tracked down and arrested.[2] Bait Car operations typically call for about a dozen officers on duty, and the cases are often charged as misdemeanors.[1] Chicago police officers stage the car in a different manner, allowing offenders to be charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, burglary, or both. Chicago Police Officers do not leave the car running with the keys in the ignition or with the doors open.

The show was created by production company Departure Films, based out of New York, NY.

Controversy[edit]

Opponents of Bait Car have expressed concern that the show merely creates crime and might even be considered entrapment.

Those in law enforcement argue that the show is a legitimate and effective way to catch auto thieves. "John Q Public doesn't climb into bait cars," a Florida officer states. "We are talking about people who have been arrested time and time again. Everybody we've arrested with a bait car has had an extensive criminal record."[3]

During season 5, LA prosecutors dropped charges against Keenen Alex after TV footage showed Detective Anthony Shapiro failed to read him a Miranda warning. Detective Shapiro asked Alex, "You watch TV. You know your rights and all that?" [4]

Operation locations[edit]

Known statesKnown citiesKnown organizations
AlabamaBirminghamBirmingham Police Department
CaliforniaLos Angeles County
San Bernardino
San Francisco
California Highway Patrol
Criminal Investigations Unit
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
San Francisco Police Department
Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention
GeorgiaAtlantaAtlanta Police Department
IllinoisChicagoChicago Police Department
LouisianaNew OrleansNew Orleans Police Department
NevadaLas VegasLas Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Vehicle Investigations Project for Enforcement and Recovery
TexasHoustonHouston Police Department Harris County Sheriff's Office
WashingtonSeattle
Spokane
Tacoma
Everett
Yakima
King County Sheriff's Office
Snohomish County

References[edit]

External links[edit]