NEW YORK (AP) — Sometimes the bait is a small amount of cash in a stray wallet. Or a credit card. Even a pack of cigarettes can do the trick.
Police in New York City leave the items unattended — on subway platforms, on park benches, in cars — and wait to see if someone grabs them.
The New York Police Department 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.