A bait car, also called a hot car, is a vehicle used by law enforcement agencies to capture car thieves. The vehicles are modified, with features including GPS tracking and audio/video surveillance technology, and can be remotely monitored and controlled. A "kill switch" may be installed in the vehicle allowing police to remotely disable the engine and lock all doors from the inside, preventing escape.
The bait car, often filled with valuable items to draw attention to it, is parked in a high auto-theft area. In some cases, the vehicle may be simply left unlocked with the keys in the ignition. When the car is stolen, officers are immediately alerted, and can monitor the vehicle and send commands to control it such as disabling the engine, locking the doors or honking the horn. Live audio/video streaming devices may be installed allowing law enforcement personnel to determine how many suspects are in the car, what they are planning and if they are armed.
New York City Bait Bike
Inside Edition's August 2010 Bait Bike sting in New York City. Lisa Guerreo shows how a Bait Bike left unattended in New York City gets stolen and is then tracked and recovered using the technology of Pegasus Technologies Inc. and BaitBike.com. Jason Cecchettini demonstrates how easy it is.
Hidden Camera test in Bait Bike
We rigged up the bait bike with a compact hidden button camera so that we can see who steals it. The camera is concealed within the stem. The hidden video camera does not stream wirelessly, so it is necessary to recover the bike to get a good look at the person who was riding the bait bike.