Police arrest three teenagers in 'bait car' sting near Ohio State campus

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Three teenagers were arrested Friday when Columbus police conducted a joint sting operation with the Ohio Highway Patrol near the Ohio State University's main campus aimed at catching suspected car thieves operating in the area.
Three teenagers were arrested Friday when Columbus police conducted a joint sting operation with the Ohio Highway Patrol near the Ohio State University's main campus aimed at catching suspected car thieves operating in the area.

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.

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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.

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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 elagatta@dispatch.com. 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

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