A police sting operation using a "bait car" caught three teenagers attempting to steal the vehicle near Ohio State University's main campus.
The modified decoy vehicle — a common tool used by law enforcement to catch would-be car thieves — is often outfitted with surveillance technology and can be remotely monitored and controlled by officers conducting the stings.
Car thefts in Columbus: As carjackings and thefts rise, Columbus police revamp effort targeting young thieves
The Columbus Division of Police announced on Monday the results of Friday's sting, which was a joint operation conducted with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
How the sting went down
Between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, officers arrested two 15-year-olds and a 17-year-old after deploying the bait car five times in three different areas of North High Street. Police also reported seizing a gun from the elder teen.
The 17-year-old male was arrested after 5:30 p.m. when he reportedly attempted to steal the bait car near East 17th Avenue and later led officers on a foot chase. Police reported recovering a loaded gun from the juvenile, who has been charged with a weapons offense and theft of a motor vehicle.
The 15-year-old boys reportedly entered the vehicle around 9:30 p.m. near East 18th Avenue and drove it a short distance before officers remotely stopped the car and arrested them both. They were charged with theft of a motor vehicle.
Eric Lagatta is a reporter at the Columbus Dispatch covering public safety, breaking news and social justice issues. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EricLagatta
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Columbus police arrest 3 teens in 'bait car' sting near Ohio State