COLUMBIA — Columbia police arrested two people Wednesday after cameras in the department's bait cars caught them stealing items from the unlocked vehicles.
On Wednesday, Allen L. Sykes, 47, was arrested on suspicion of felony stealing, and Carroll C. Wallace, 40, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor stealing. The two arrests were separate incidents.
“In the last several months we’ve seen a large increase in the break-ins," Columbia Police Department Sgt. Ken Hammond said. "There’s no direct reason that we’re recognizing for it.”
Police already arrested one man this week after he broke into a bait car. Since the program launched in November 2007, the cars have led to the arrest of 25 people, according to Detective Steve Brown. He said he tries to make the bait cars look like normal cars, and puts laptops, iPods, purses and cell phones in them.
“Over the course of a year period in operation, we’ve seen a 30 percent reduction in car theft,” Brown said.