As an avid watcher of the Bait Car program, I have no doubt in my mind each person who drives off with that car has criminal intent. At the end of the day, each culprit broke the law. Only in California can someone get away with a deed like that. I would be interested to know why half of the cases we dismissed? Lack of evidence? Apparently the production company of Bait Car refused to hand over the video footage of the incidents, footage that could be potentially used for evidence.
Entrapment is another defense that could be used, especially if the judge ruled that the culprits were simply "joyriding"
It all boils down to the fact that the show was set up for entertainment purposes, to show on TV and to make money off of it. Producers wanted a good product and they got one, regardless of whether or not the subjects end up going to jail. How much could the show producers care? They got their footage and laughed all the way to the bank.
The losers are the taxpayers, where all the city's resources involved in setting up this operation were squandered for busting half a dozen culprits.
Maybe the moral of the story is not to trust a unattended vehicle. Hopefully the show serves as a deterrent. I am planning on starting some blog posts on keeping your vehicle safe and secured. Stay tuned.