Chevy Chase police push for bait car to tackle thefts

The sound of a stereo being ripped out was caught on camera in a bait car, a car specially wired by police with live streaming audio and video designed to catch suspected thieves in the act.

Arlington County has a bait car, and now the police chief of Chevy Chase Village wants one because his area appears to be under siege.

“Moving pictures of the bad guy doing something bad and it will be hard to refute,” says Chief John Fitzgerald.

The bad guys are pushing Chevy Chase Village towards a 25-year high. So far this year thieves broke into 68 cars and stole everything from pocket change to purses and phones. The area, which borders the District, is only a half-square mile radius with some 2,000 residents, including Cheryl Baird.

“The glove department was rifled,” says Baird. “All of my parking money was stolen.”

Her car was broken into twice this year and supports the chief’s push for a bait car.

“I would offer my driveway to him,” says Baird.

If the Village board approves tonight, the chief says he wants word of the bait car to get out so thieves bypass the area altogether.

17-year-old resident Catie Ryan was home asleep when thieves broke in and stole the keys to her father’s Mini cooper and got the car.

“It’ll really crack down on all these robberies going on,” she says.