Reality crime shows have been following cops around for years, with film crews catching every word and gesture of both the officers and the suspects. But it is rare when a mistake made by a law enforcement officer, and captured on film, sets a would-be criminal free.
Yet that’s what happened recently, the L.A. Times reports, after an admitted car thief had to be let go thanks to something a sheriff’s detective did -- or rather didn’t do -- as shown in footage filmed for the reality TV program “Bait Car.”
The show is simple enough: A so-called bait car, wired up with cameras, microphones and GPS tracking equipment, is left out somewhere in a high-crime area with the engine running. Authorities (and camera crews) lie in wait nearby, ready for someone to take the bait and drive away.
Entrapment? Possibly -- but law enforcement has been using these so-called honey traps long before there was reality TV.