Two teens in Albuquerque, N.M., tried to steal a car for a joyride Friday night on their way to a party. But they fell into one of police department’s most clever traps when the teens figured out they had stolen a bait car.
Police said a 14-year-old and 18-year old boy had been searching for a ride to a party when they found the bait car. Sgt. Donovan Olvera of the Albuquerque Police Department’s Property Crimes section said they placed the bait car just hours before the alleged burglary took place.
“We conducted an undercover operation where we placed a bait car in the area and we activated it and we electronically monitored it. Once we arm the vehicle, we leave it alone and go about our business. When the door has been opened it will alert us when the car is in motion,” . Donovan Olvera told ABC News.
Authorities said when the car was deactivated, the 14-year-old was apprehended immediately, but the driver, Jaguar Fresquez , 18, took off on a brief foot chance before he was detained.
“I was shocked to think that it was a 14-year-old, but I was more shocked with his demeanor during the criminal activity. You would think he would say, ‘This is just wrong,’ Olvera told ABC news.
“It looked like he was having a bigger blast than the adult. He had more of a rush. The adult was more nervous and the passenger was getting a joy.”
The bait car was equipped with a surveillance video that shows the two teens smiling and laughing as soon as they clicked their seatbelts and drove away. The video even shows Fresquez looking over his shoulder saying he hoped it wasn’t a bait car.
“I was like this guy should have stuck to his senses!” Olvera told ABC News.
Olvera told ABC News the police department’s bait car program had been very successful. In the past year and a half, 45 individuals have entered a bait car and driven off.
Both teens were charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, conspiracy and the 18-year-old was also charged with contributing to delinquency.