By Bill Harless, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 06, 2005
Taking a two-sided approach to preventing auto thefts, the Metro Police Department is using bait cars to trap would-be thieves and occasionally issuing tickets to drivers who leave their cars unattended with keys in the ignition.
Describing one of the bait cars, which is left sitting empty with keys inside, Detective Billy Brewer said, â€œWe can lock the doors, we can lock the windows, we can shut the engine down â€” youâ€™re not going to get out.â€ Brewer has worked in the departmentâ€™s Auto Theft Unit for nearly 19 years.
The police hear every word said in the car, and usually it is shut off 15 seconds after a person starts driving.
Insurance companies including MetLife, Allstate and GEICO have donated some of the vehicles.
â€œYou cannot name an insurance company that does not try to help us in some kind of way,â€ Brewer said. Their incentive is the fact that comprehensive automobile insurance reimburses drivers for stolen vehicles.
â€œWe do whatever we have to do to make this thing work, and if the insurance companies have grabbed hands with us and theyâ€™re working strong with us, now what weâ€™re asking is [for] the public to grab the other hand. And letâ€™s work together and do what weâ€™ve got to do to combat this thing.â€
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