We are all familiar with Tru TV’s television show “Bait Car,” but the NYPD may have taken it a little too far. The NYPD says the practice has been a valuable tool for catching career criminals and deterring thefts in public places. But a recent court ruling throwing out a larceny case against a Bronx woman cast a harsh light on a tactic critics say too often sweeps up innocent people.
In 2010, Deirdre Myers, a 40-year old single mother with no criminal charges was charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property. The events leading to her arrest began when a dark car raced down the block before stopping. Another vehicle carrying plainclothes officers wasn't far behind. When the driver got out and ran, the officers gave chase.
“Myers' daughter, seeing that the driver left the car door open, went over and peered inside to see personal items that included what looked like a bundle of cash — in reality, a dollar bill wrapped around pieces of newspaper. The girl had called her mother over when another set of police officers suddenly pulled up in a van and forced them to the ground.” According to Myers account, she nor her daughter entered the car.
“Judge Linda Poust Lopez found that there was no proof Deirdre Myers tried to steal anything — and that she was framed by a sting that took the tactic way too far.”
The Bronx D.A.’s Office has advised that they will not appeal the ruling.