…but I wouldn’t want to live there

Police in New York City are conducting sting operations.  No, they’re not posing as drug dealers or prostitutes.  It’s actually sleazier than that.

They’re leaving wallets, shopping bags and purses strewn about the city, and if a passer-by picks one up and then walks by a uniformed police officer without turning the item in to the officer, that person is arrested.

If the wallet or purse they’ve picked up has a credit card in it (put there by the police), that person then faces up to four years in years in prison.

Two small points (copied from the article):

*….the law gives people 10 days to turn in property they find…

* The penal law also does not require that found items be turned over to a police officer.

The NYC police have done this before, beginning in Feb. ’06.    Due to not being able to prove intent to steal, the district attorney’s office began to dismiss charges on these earlier victims.  Indeed, significantly more than half of those arrested had no prior criminal record.

The last time they did this, the value of the items was only enough to charge someone with petty larceny, but this latest round, they’ve upped the ante with actual credit cards.  See, they can’t put fake cards in there, or it’s not actually a crime.  Or something.  Whatever.

I can’t make sense of it.   But I’m pretty disgusted.   It’s like someone faking an injury or heart attack in the middle of the sidewalk and then charging anyone who walks on by with depraved indifference for not stopping to render aid.

Anyone from NYC? Can you give me a different perspective?


Today’s video is  Leon Redbone and Dr. John singing Frosty the Snowman.   I was tickled to death to find this one.

9 Responses to “…but I wouldn’t want to live there”

  1. magneto bold too Says:

    Fark. That is low. Your cops are amazing. I am shocked.

    Wonder if any of the wallets had condoms in them? Then the perps can charge the cops with distributing prophylactics to minors if they get their kid to pick it up!

  2. Dan Says:

    I don’t think the cops would be able to do that over here, it would be classified as entrapment.

    It sounds horrendously big brother.

  3. Kizz Says:

    It’s probably just another in a string of questionable revenue-increasing ideas that our “beloved” but inexperienced mayor has decided to implement. A long while ago he was handing out tickets to people doing things like sitting on milk crates on the sidewalk. It cost more to give out the tickets and try the people than the fines would raise. I suspect most people will be handing the wallet over to the police because it’s easier than looking up the person who allegedly lost it. OK, really I suspect that most people won’t bother picking up the wallet because it’s Christmas time in the city and they don’t have an extra hand or an extra ounce of patience.

    It’s a good place to live, I promise, way better than when I used to live in a small town and was once stopped and lectured by the police for…walking backwards down a sidewalk.

  4. Pat K Says:

    Just another day in NYC, were you get ticketed for sitting
    on a milk crate. Blowing your horn. Having a frame around your license plate . etc etc, if you smoke the Mayor will have you Tasered.

  5. Chris Says:

    I just don’t see how that’s legal. Or morally right. Plus, don’t they just have better things to be doing?

  6. bekah Says:

    I’m with Chris — how is this legal?

  7. Beth Says:

    I’m just happy to know they’ve cleaned up the crime rate in NY so much so that now the cops have time to invent crimes!

  8. jen from boston Says:

    yeah – smells of entrapment, though according to my expert TV viewings, I thought that was held strictly for Hos and drugs dealing. Who knew?

  9. Mandy Lou Says:

    You’d think that the New York City police department has better/more important things to do with it’s time. But then, don’t get me started on how cities spend money – there isn’t enough bandwidth on the internet!

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