The New York Daily News recently reported about a fairly old Police sting that is rising it’s ugly head again.
Apparently, police are leaving bags/purses unattended, in select NYC areas, while maintaining surveillance from a short distance away. Since its inception, the NYPD has arrested several hundred individuals who were tempted by the bags’ contents which included electronics and cash.
Initially introduced in 2006, the sting was dubbed “Operation Lucky Bag”. When revealed to the public, it caused backlash, yet still remains in effect.
Recently, a tourist vactioning in NYC was arrested for taking money from one “Lucky Bag”. He decried the arrest. Although I couldn’t find the original article on the NY Daily News website, I was able to scan it. You can see the scanned version by clicking here.
According to Personal Property Law § 252, a person has ten days to return found property, yet police are arresting people before said time. Many have chosen to pay the fines and/or cop a plea to have it removed within 6 months if they remain out of trouble AND still pay the fine. It seems to be a great money maker! In fact, it was reported in 2007 that approximately 300 people were arrested and charged with petit larceny, with almost half of those charged having no previous criminal records. One such person was Aquarius Cheers, who picked up a bag in 2007. He copped a plea and eventually had it dismissed but his face and video remain online, where anyone can find him with a simple Google search.
Don’t get caught in New York’s “Lucky Bag” sting! As tempting as an unattended bag with goodies may seem, its best to call police on the spot before risking an arrest.
Sadly, I think this iniative by the police will bring in money but will deter others from telling when they see an unattended bag.
Would you keep the contents in an unattended bag?
Do you think this sting is fair or entrapment?