Dallas PD Nabs Car Thieves with Covert Vehicle Monitoring Program
The Dallas Police Department established a covert vehicle program to catch car burglars and thieves in the act. During the initial stage of the program, the department rigged bait cars with GPS devices that alerted officers of break-ins and tracked stolen cars, but offered no video recording capabilities. While the GPS system proved successful, car thieves, could, for example, foil the system by parking a car out of sight in a garage, leaving police unable to pinpoint its precise location.
After adding a basic video recording system, the resulting video evidence helped increase criminal convictions, proved the concept, and enabled the department to secure greater funding. Officers knew the bait car program could be even better with more robust video equipment that offered remote, two-way functionality. Challenges lay in selecting the optimum wireless system and implementation support to ensure increased effectiveness. The program’s champions needed to justify added expense and gain broad department and funding support.
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