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Citrus Heights police announce more ‘bait’ arrests

Citrus Heights police posted the photos of two suspects who were arrested Sunday after allegedly stealing bait items. // Image credit: CHPD

Sentinel staff report–
The Citrus Heights Police Department announced the arrest of two more suspects on Sunday after they allegedly stole bait items owned by the department, bringing the total number of felony bait arrests up to more than 90 this year.

In a Dec. 23 post on Instagram, police posted photos of the latest two suspects, one of whom the department said had recently been released from state prison. Police said the same suspect, identified only as “Mr. McManus,” was also found in possession of several pieces of new power equipment.

Due to the equipment still having the price tags on, police indicated the equipment was believed to have been stolen, saying, “in police work we often call this a clue.” Photos of the equipment posted by police show a handheld blower and a chainsaw, both with price tags of $199 apiece.

Police said the other man who was arrested, also identified only by his last name, “Mr. Green,” was on parole for vehicle theft and had a felony no-bail warrant for his arrest. He also had “an extensive arrest history for narcotics, theft, resisting arrest, evading police [and] possession of burglary tools,” police said.

“Once again, we are glad we caught them stealing from us and not one of our citizens,” police said in the Instagram posting, accompanied by the hashtag #dontsteal.

Lt. David Gutierrez told The Sentinel that Sunday’s arrests bring the total number of felony bait arrests in Citrus Heights up to 200 over the past two years, with 93 of those arrests occurring this year.

The lieutenant said 74 percent of those arrested with bait had a prior felony on their record and nearly 4-out-of-every-5 suspects were either on probation, parole, or supervised release. More than three-quarters of the suspects had committed a prior theft-related crime and 61 percent had a prior drug-related arrest.

Police say the goal of publicizing the bait program is to deter theft by causing criminals to think twice about stealing.

“Our desire would be to deploy all kinds of bait items throughout the city and for no one to steal them,” Gutierrez previously told The Sentinel. “We want the criminal element to know we have the programs in place, so maybe they second guess themselves or think twice about stealing the item, fearing it’s a bait item.”

The department’s bait items are placed around the city and are equipped with tracking capability. Stolen items valued over $950 can be classified as felony theft, while items of lower value are typically classified as petty theft.

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