Burglars Beware: That Home You're Casing Could Be a "Bait House"


The Post-Dispatch is out with an interesting article about how St. Louis County Police plan to use "bait houses" to catch burglars.

The idea was borne from the popularity and success of bait cars -- vehicles rigged to kill the engine and lock the doors and windows when stolen by car thieves.

The bait homes would work somewhat similarly. Police would rent out homes and outfit them with "bait" such as flat-panel televisions, high-end stereos, computers, etc. The cops would also install video monitors and motion detectors inside the home as well as tracking devices on the bait.

When/if the home is broken into, police would respond immediately to the scene to arrest the crooks. If the bad guys flee before the cops arrive, they'll use the tracking devices in the bait to follow the burglars.

Sound good? I'm not so sure.

Luring crooks into stealing empty cars parked in the street is one thing, but do we really want to entice criminals to break into our homes -- the one place most of us feel the safest?

And, like bait cars, couldn't the police rig the bait houses so they actually trap the crooks? I'm thinking steel doors and iron bars that slam down right after the thief enters the home. You know, sorta like the intro to Get Smart or -- even more apropos -- a rat trap.

Can you imagine the YouTube-worthy footage the hidden video cameras inside these homes would capture as the perp attempts to claw his way out of an inescapable bait house?

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