With the NYPD currently in the midst of a highly publicized trial over its controversial Stop and Frisk program, another police tactic has recently come to light that is somehow even more ridiculous: larceny traps. Officers plant bags filled with cash or other valuables in public places around the city and then wait for someone to try to take it, at which point they arrest the person and charge them with petit larceny.
So if you’re one of those New Yorkers who leaves your bag full of Apple products laying unattended on a subway platform and expects that no one will try to grab it, guess what? The NYPD has you covered!! Also, you don’t actually exist.
However, if you’re one of the those New Yorkers like Deirdre Myers, for instance, who don’t run away screaming to the nearest police station whenever you find an unattended bag, then the NYPD also has you covered, but more in the literal, physically suffocating sense of the word in that case.
According to the AP, Myers and her daughter were sitting on a stoop when police suddenly staged an elaborate sting operation:
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, yelling, “Stop! Police!”…
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…
A court ultimately threw out the charges against Myers and her daughter based on the NYPD’s extreme measures. However, the City has not announced any plans to curtail the “lucky bags” operation in the future, as the program has already prevented countless afternoons of sunbathing and playing credit card-frisbee in Central Park from being ruined by some thief. Or the wind..