The Entrapment Defense

What is a Baited Package or Car?

The bait car looks like any regular car on the street. It is a vehicle owned by the police department and equipped with GPS devices and possibly cameras. The police will place something valuable inside the bait car, such as cell phones, i-Pads, purse and then they park the car (with the keys inside) on the side of the street in a low-income part of town. If someone tries to steal the bait car or the valuables inside, the GPS is triggered, the camera is activated, and the police are alerted. In most cases, the person does not get very far before a patrol car arrives to arrest them for either BMV or UUMV or both.

A bait package is a package made to look like a parcel post delivery to you home.  When the bait is illegally taken by a thieve the police are alerted and track the package to the final destination and arrest the suspect.

What is prostitution entrapment?

This usually involves the use of a website service (akin to Craigslist) where escorts and ladies of the night advertise their services. Potential Johns can browse the website to arrange an interlude of momentary love. The police have been using these sites and arranging for a female officer to meet men at a local motel room posing as a prostitute. With backup officers waiting in another room, the John (suspect) is arrested for solicitation of a prostitute (the exchange of money for sex) when they arrive to meet the woman/officer they contacted on-line.

Is it Entrapment for the Police to Use a Bait Car, Bait Packages or to Advertise on a Website?

Just because the police conduct doesn’t seem fair or because we think the police are “creating the crimes,” does not mean that it is entrapment.

The Texas Penal Code defines Entrapment defense as  “It is a defense to prosecution that the actor engaged in the conduct charged because he was induced to do so by a law enforcement agent using persuasion or other means likely to cause persons to commit the offense.”

The Penal Code goes on to explain that: “Conduct merely affording a person an opportunity to commit an offense does not constitute entrapment.”

By using a bait car, the police are merely providing an opportunity for any person to commit an offense—-they are not persuading or pressuring any one individual to commit the crime so under the law, entrapment would not apply to these situations.

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