By Mike Hazlip—
Citrus Heights Police said a 51-year-old man was arrested Monday after stealing bait that was part of the department’s program to reduce property theft in the area.
Police Sgt. Joseph Aguilar told The Sentinel in a phone call Thursday that the man was arrested on grand theft charges after taking the bait at about 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26. The man’s name has not been released, Aguilar said, and he has no prior arrests. He was taken into custody without incident.
A social media post by a user on Instagram showed Citrus Heights police making an arrest at a Circle K gas station. The account’s owner, Isaiah Cichosz said the arrest was related to bait.
Aguilar would not comment on what bait item was used, but confirmed it was not a trailer. Police intentionally avoid disclosing detailed information about specific bait the department deploys.
Aguilar said the bait program has been successful since being re-deployed this year. The items contain electronic tracking systems and can be deployed in various locations and in vehicles.
Established in 2016, the program resulted in 35 felony arrests in its first year, according to Lt. Wesley Herman. There were well over 100 felony arrests in the program’s next year.
Of the felony arrests the program netted in 2017, 80 percent were on probation, parole, or post-release community supervision, according to Herman. Over 70 percent had a prior felony conviction, and more than 60 percent had a prior arrest for a violent crime. About 76 percent had committed a prior theft-related crime, and more than 60 percent had drug related criminal activity, Herman said.