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Bait Apartments Trapping Would-be Burglars |

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Bait Apartments Trapping Would-be Burglars
Bait Apartments Trapping Would-be Burglars


Las Vegas police have a new tactic for catching burglars: bait apartments. The apartments are equipped with hidden cameras and GPS trackers.

The apartments were the idea of Metro Sergeant Sean Toman. He wanted to catch burglars in the act just like officers are able to catch car thieves with bait cars. The apartments are loaded with electronics, furniture and other valuables all tagged with GPS tracking equipment.

"Whether it be large furniture of electronics, people just need to realize that we can obviously put GPS in almost anything and it can be tracked," Sgt. Toman said.

Metro says they cannot show video of the burglaries they caught on camera because those cases are in court. Officers often leave the shades open on the bait apartments to entice burglars to come in.

Apartment resident Jazmin Harvey was burglarized last year.

"They broke in, stole a Playstation, stole a bunch of electronics stuff -- even just broke a laptop in half. They vandalized the apartment. They even stole toilet tissue," Harvey said.

Harvey says renter’s insurance paid for most of the items lost but not her family’s sense of security. She says her young children still ask if the bad guys are going to come back and steal their stuff again.

Officers at the Northwest Area Command say rumors in the criminal underground that bait apartments exist are helping bring down burglary numbers. Officers say thieves will avoid complexes where they believe the apartments have been set up.

Metro says burglaries in the area are down 14 percent, compared with the same time last year. Other area commands are looking at using the same tactic. So far, there are three cases in court where evidence from bait apartments are being used against accused thieves.


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