You may be familiar with the truTV program Bait Car, where the police place a vehicle equipped with hidden cameras and radio trackers in various areas to catch a would be car thief in the act. It’s kinda fun to watch people ‘check out’ the car, check out the surroundings and decide to jump in and drive off. You get to see their excitement as they think that they’ve just won the jackpot along with the utter despair as officers remotely kill the car and the thief is surrounded. Even the excuses as to why they are driving it are hilarious. ‘I was just moving it for my friend, so they wouldn’t get a ticket, whose name I forgot and I also can’t remember where they live.’
In the UK, they got something similar except with mobile phones called ‘Operation Mobli.’ Plain clothes police purposely left "bait" phones embedded with tracking devices in nine pubs and bars across the towns of Hastings and St Leonards in Sussex. I’m not sure what makes and models of phones were left for the taking but none of the baited devices were stolen. In every case, an honest patron noticed the ‘forgotten’ phone and turned in to the bar staff. Some might describe this sting as a failure but according to the Sussex Police’s press release Sgt Ché Donald said, ‘This was an excellent result and my faith has been restored as the phones were honestly handed in.’
I often write about the potential perils of losing a smartphone crammed with private data and all the unfortunate circumstances that follow. If it gets into the wrong hands then that is the case yet we must also remember that there are plenty of good, honest folks out there who will do the right thing when they find something that doesn’t belong to them. Maybe they’ve seen police sting shows, maybe they’ve lost something themselves, maybe their parents raised them right or maybe it’s simply kindness and honesty that’s built into every one of us. Human’s are capable of the greatest good and the nastiest of evil, it’s all how we decide to play it.