Surveillance cameras and tracking devices are helping Dallas police catch culprits stealing goods from cars. According to the Dallas Morning News, car burglaries account for about 30% of the city’s crime and police rarely catch the burglars. With help from one Assistant Chief’s personal finances, the local police are whittling away at the problem.
Dallas police have equipped two decoy cars with surveillance cameras. In these cars they place bait—things robbers may find alluring. But these items have tracking devices in them, leading the police straight to the suspect after the bait is taken. And with their face on camera, “there’s no disputing they were in the car.”
Everything from golf clubs and Christmas gifts are used to lure the suspects in. Police say they expect to use the same tracking devices in construction site theft as well.
To pay for the equipment for this burglary prevention effort, the Northhaven Park Neighborhood Association raised money and one Assistant Chief from the police department came out of his own pocket. They are still collecting donations in hopes of purchasing more.
As the police department spokesperson said, it’s a little difficult to refute video evidence. However, the Morning News report cites one defendant who is contesting it’s been a case of mistaken identity—suggesting he was eating ravioli in his pajamas. The court found differently, sending him to prison for three years.
Although burglary is considered a nonviolent crime, it is punished severely in local courts. Because you are entering into someone’s property to take what isn’t rightfully yours, it’s taken very seriously. Similarly to other theft offenses, you can spend years behind bars for a burglary or even a shoplifting conviction.
Many theft charges are penalized according to the value of the property or services you are accused of taking. For instance, if the property is less than $50, it’s considered a Class C misdemeanor and is penalized with a fine. However, if it’s valued at more than $200,000, it’s classified as a first degree felony and punishable with up to 99 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.
To know exactly what you’re up against, a consultation with a criminal defense attorney is necessary. Contact our offices today to get a free consultation on your case today.