Burglary suspects arrested after Walnut Creek police place package in bait car

Bay Area

WALNUT CREEK (KRON) — In the East Bay, there are two less auto burglars breaking into cars. 

The two men were arrested after police used a little technology to track the suspects down.

A smash and grab bait vehicle leads to the arrests of two auto burglary suspects, Joshua Cataiano and Gavin Shalar. 

It happened just before 9 p.m. Wednesday at the 24-Hour Fitness in Walnut Creek.

The vehicle was staged in the area as a decoy with an undisclosed item as bait for any would-be auto burglars. 

Walnut Creek Police investigators say the bait contains a GPS tracking device. 

The police department’s special enforcement team used that signal to track the stolen item to a residence in Discovery Bay where the two burglary suspects were surprised to get a visit from officers.

“They are very surprised when we [caught]them. They are very surprised,” said an officer with Walnut Creek Police. 

Walnut Creek police say their bait vehicle program is a tactic used by their officers in the past but has since been beefed up in response to smash and grab auto burglaries occuring in the city. 

Police park the decoy vehicles in high targeted areas. 

The bait containing the tracking device can be placed in any common item often left unsecured — hard for burglars to resist

“Backpacks, suitcases, laptops, computers, gaming devices.”

Police advise the best defense this holiday season is to not leave anything of value in your vehicle. 

You never know when an auto burglar may strike and now auto burglars have to think twice before smashing a window and grabbing an item that could be the real thing or a decoy that will ultimately land them in jail.

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