Don’t Get Caught in New York’s “Lucky Bag” Sting!

by Migdalia Rivera

Operation Lucky Bag 9-20-2011

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.

Let’s discuss!

Would you keep the contents in an unattended bag?

Do you think this sting is fair or entrapment?

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa Quinones-Fontanez September 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm

I wouldn’t even go near it. And I’m always in a rush so probably wouldn’t even notice.
Lisa Quinones-Fontanez recently posted..You Know You’re Doing Too Much When

2 Unknown Mami September 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Seriously?! What a waste of law enforcement time and effort. Perhaps more effort should be put into catching purse snatchers or pick pockets instead of setting up entrapment scenarios.
Unknown Mami recently posted..Obituary or Ride to Nowhere

3 YvonneInLA September 29, 2011 at 6:27 pm

It’s entrapment!! I can’t believe that they are wasting their time that way. There are real criminals out there to find. So annoying.

4 Justice Jonesie September 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm

This is ridiculous! if you didn’t have the article i would say it’s an urban myth.

5 Carla @ All of Me Now September 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I’m the idiot who would pick it up and bring it to the nearest store or business only to get arrested on the way there or have the person I give it to take everything. Y si, entrapment for sure!
Carla @ All of Me Now recently posted..DIY Blog Design

6 Lisa September 29, 2011 at 9:39 pm

That’s insane! Never heard of such a thing. Wow. I def think it’s a waste of gov’t dollars.
Lisa recently posted..How the Monkey Bars Are Making My Daughter Feel Fat…at 6 Years Old!

7 Bicultural Mama September 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I hadn’t heard of this until now. If I found a bag unattended I wouldn’t touch it. Given you never know nowadays what could be in bags left in public places in NYC.
Bicultural Mama recently posted..Humbled By Our Firefighters

8 Sujeiry, 1st Lady of Love September 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm

What?! Are you serious? I can’t believe this is legal! It definitely does seem like entrapment. Maybe they should spend their time looking for those who have premeditated a theft.
Sujeiry, 1st Lady of Love recently posted..Giveaway: The New Latina’s Bible by Sandra Guzman

9 Aixa September 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I’ve been hearing about this. I assumed it was to catch drug dealers and other ilicit activities, but I guess I was wrong. I wasn’t able to read the article. It doesn’t open for me. But it is outrageous!
Aixa recently posted..Did you notice the top-right corner of the screen?

10 Aixa September 30, 2011 at 11:11 am

You got me interested. A pastor from a church was also arrested. A Queens’ Assemblywoman who wants this stopped.

It’s hard to imagine they would stoop to this.

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