NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro Police are leaving bait cars running at convenience stores and other businesses this summer because too many people are doing the same thing. They planted a bait car in East Nashville this week on East Main Street.
"With almost 50 percent of our cars stolen in Nashville with the keys in them. It's like candy to a baby. They see it and some people can't resist it," said Billy Smith with the Metro Nashville Police Department.
Police hope the sign itself in the area will be a deterrent. Something seems to be working because the number of auto thefts is down.
There was a big decrease from 2008 to 2009. In 2008, nearly 2,700 vehicles were stolen in Nashville. The next year that number dropped to more than 1,700.
A few years ago, a vehicle was parked in the parking lot of the Hickory Hollow Mall. The thief thought he was getting away with the car, but with a remote control police kill the engine then lock the doors and windows. The thief had no choice but to give up.
Police think what they're doing coupled with better anti-theft technology is making a difference.
Police have quite an arsenal of bait vehicles. It's not just cars and trucks. They also have motorcycles and even lawn mowers planted in Nashville neighborhoods.