Is a cable reality show that films car thefts in action the best use of SFPD time and resources? That seems to be one of the many questions raised by Appeal contrib Chris Roberts’ reports in SF Weekly on local shooting of truTV show “Bait Car”, in which cops park a car tricked out with “secret video cameras, audio recording equipment, remotely operated door locks, and an ignition kill switch” in high auto-crime areas and “and leave it unattended with the driver’s side door open and the engine running, sometimes blocking the flow of traffic.”

When a would be thief hops in (as one inevitably does, otherwise there would be NO TV SHOW), 10-12 cops descend on the miscreant. Hilarity, presumably, ensues.

SF shooting of this Cops-knockoff was supposed to wrap around Labor Day, but of the 11 arrests made thus far, only one has gone before a judge (to be dismissed) and all are charged as misdemeanors, not felonies, reports Roberts.

As expected, the employees of Public Defender’s office is less than thrilled with the production, with one asking “(a) $500 million budget deficit, and this is what they’re doing?” and another calling the show “crime creation.”

No word yet on when the SF-set segments are set to air, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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