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Alleged Would-Be Crooks Fall For Grove City Bait Car


UPDATED: Wednesday November 21, 2012 11:09 AM

Police set the trap, and the accused criminals took the bait.

A growing car break-in problem inspired Grove City police to take its efforts to the next level. The department hoped a new tool would help them catch criminals in the act.

"What they have been taking in the past is GPS units, laptops, cameras," Grove City Police Cpt. Jeff Pearson said.

Police said that thieves broke into 14 cars within the last 45 days.

Fed up, investigators borrowed a secret pair of eyes from the state-a bait car that helped them catch Ross Riley and his alleged accomplice as they allegedly attempted to steal from the vehicle.

From the outside, the bait car looks like any other vehicle. But inside, hidden cameras await to give crooks their close up.

Police said that an alarm was tripped inside the car after Riley opened the door and started rummaging through the car. According to investigators, Riley tried to use gloves to avoid leaving behind fingerprints.

Both men left the scene empty handed. Officers said Riley and Morey were arrested a short time later.

"Not only are we able to catch him committing the attempted theft, we're able to get great evidence and we can take that evidence to court to show what the individual was doing," Pearson said.

Police were so happy with the results - they said that they might use the bait car again in the future.

"To the thieves out there, you never know when you are going to be entering a bait car," Pearson said. "So, beware."

Riley and Morey were charged with attempted theft. It was not known if they were connected all 14 car break-ins in the area.

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