Spied this little item as I was cruising the Internet that Al Gore invented (great job on that Al) and thought it deserved a mention...
In New York City, nearly 300 people, many of whom had no criminal record, have been snared this year through the NYPD's Operation Lucky Bag, in which undercover officers leave a wallet, iPod or cell phone in a subway station and wait to see who picks it up.
Although deputy police Commissioner Paul Browne says the program has helped cut subway grand larcenies by half, critics say that the police have gone too far.
"It's pretty straightforward that this is a police-created crime," said Legal Aid Society lawyer Alex Lesman, who defended a man arrested for taking a bag containing an Xbox video game box, a Sprint cell phone and cash. "The police set this whole thing up. They shouldn't be doing that and luring people in that situation, especially in this age of terrorism where the transit system is always telling you to be on the lookout for suspicious bags."
I am a bit bothered by this. I mean, the police have many more things to do, like catch terrorists, rapists, thieves and muggers. I totally agree with the Legal Aid Society, this is some bullshit. I would like to see them putting more resources toward the catching of actual criminals instead of inventing new and interesting ways to try to entrap citizens while going about their daily business.
Other lawyers have argued on behalf of their clients that the operation may also violate New York's personal property law, which allows someone who finds property worth more than $25 10 days to turn it in to the owner or the police.
I mean, how could the arresting officer know that the guy who picked up the bag wasn't about to go and find a police officer and turn in the package or head to the local police precinct and turn it in as lost property? There would be no way to establish his intentions unless you followed him all the way home and sat out in front of their house for 10 days?
Maybe the NYPD Legal Department should have checked on this pesky little detail before running around arresting citizens for picking up a package they found on the subway.
Proof once again that no good deed goes unpunished....
The rest of the story is here: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=4022717&page=1