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3 arrested in theft of auto featured on reality TV's 'Bait Car'

September 8, 2011 | 12:27 pm

Bait Car

Los Angeles authorities have arrested three men who allegedly stole a car featured on the reality TV show "Bait Car."

The car is rigged to record potential thieves using a hidden video camera and to trap them in the vehicle until officers can show up to arrest them.

But on Aug. 8th there was a mechanical malfunction that allowed four men to steal the sedan at La Brea Avenue near 30th Street and drive off instead of getting trapped.

The vehicle is used by an auto-theft task force of the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff, said LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith.

"Bait Car," which runs on cable network TruTV, films some of the task force's cases, but it's not clear whether crews were filming the day the car was stolen.

The car, which authorities would not describe because they didn't want to tip off future potential thieves, was recovered later that day.

Two men were arrested the day the car was stolen, but the other two were still being sought in the crime, police said. After almost a month, an officer with the LAPD Hollywood Division's Parole Impact team saw a bulletin containing a still photo from video of the theft and recognized a probationer known to frequent the area.

Within an hour, officers had collared the man, whose identity was not immediately released because the investigation is continuing.

In the last eight months, the Parole Impact Team has contacted some 400 parolees and arrested approximately 175 of them for parole violations, Smith said.


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-- Andrew Blankstein

Image: TruTV