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Operation Lucky Bag

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posted on Dec, 29 2007 @ 01:54 AM
For some time we have been aware that the police use various tactics to entice wanted criminals to a given area in order to arrest them. But as of late, there has been an increase in what I consider police constructing crimes.

Take the NYPD's Operation Lucky Bag, for instance. It was initially begun in February 2006 and resulted in approximately 220 arrests. Most of those cases were dismissed by NYC prosecutors and the project appeared to be dead. It has now been revamped and it is making a comeback.

For those unfamiliar, Operation Lucky Bag is a sort of police sting, in which the police leave valuables (i.e., wallets, cell phones, shopping bags) lying around in public areas, such as the subway, and swoop in to arrest people who pick up those valuables. What is particularly interesting is that there is ultimately no way for the police to know for sure if the people are merely being good Samaritans and picking up these valuables in order to return them to the proper owners or take them to lost and found areas, or if those arrested actually intended to steal the property. Some of the people arrested have no prior records and intended to use IDs to contact the proper owners and return their evidently lost property.

According to the legal system blog,, police have taken things even further by salting wallets with *live* American Express cards, which allows for them to charge people with grand larceny (which can carry a 4 year sentence if convicted).

As far as I am concerned, this is completely absurd. Surely the NYPD has "real" crime with which to contend... So the question becomes, *why* are they really doing this? To boost arrest numbers and precinct income? The first rising vibes of a police state frenzy?

What are your opinions on the matter? Is this just or unjust? Will it have any effect on crime rates (either a spike or a decline)? Do you agree or disagree with the practice? Are the police going too far?

I just don't see the benefit (or the sanity) in this sort of behavior.

Some other links to get you up to speed:

* Police Sting Operation Lucky Bag Has Some Calling Entrapment...
* NYPD says Operation Lucky Bag stings have snared nearly 300 people...
* Operation Lucky Bag: Is It Entrapment?...

It also saw mention in the recent story about a sting in Columbus, Ohio, in which the police planted a topless sunbathing woman in the park who enticed a firefighter to show her his penis and then arrested him after he did so (source -- mention of OLB is on page 2). It should be noted that both the woman and the firefighter were of the age of consent and that it is evidently not illegal to sunbathe topless in this park, though it is illegal to show off anything else, so to speak.


posted on Dec, 29 2007 @ 03:50 PM
This has got to be the most idiotic thing I"ve heard in a while. What, there aren't enough thieves and pickpockets, now we have to make them up? Please, what a stupid way to have innocent people arrested. I'm willing to bet that there were more innocent lpeople arrested than "thieves". And I've never heard that finding something and keeping it is a crime, unless you use their credit cards.
Not only that but...IT DIDN'T WORK!!! So hey, let's do it again!

I'd love to know who the criminally stupid person was who thought this up. They should be arrested for criminal stupidity. Never any Stupid Police around when you need them - guess they're all busy setting traps for unsuspecting, innocent people.

posted on Dec, 29 2007 @ 04:50 PM
i was gonna say this is crap unless they give the "target" an opportunity to do the right thing. it looks like they are so i think its ok.

For almost every person busted, there was a good Samaritan who actively tried to return the wallet to the undercover who dropped it moments before or to a nearby uniformed officer.

Browne said people who picked up the wallet but did not remove the cash were stopped, frisked and checked for outstanding warrants and released.

anyone who thinks this isnt an easy way to earn revenue for the local government are fooling themselves. just like the redlight cameras. the goal is fine generation.


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