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An Examination of Las Vegas Bait Purse Stings

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been known to use various types of sting operations in order to catch criminals in the act. One of the most controversial and widely used programs in use is called a “bait purse” sting in which an undercover officer places a purse, bag, or wallet filled with valuables or cash inside a casino and wait for someone to take it. These purses are often left near slot machines in casinos and made to look as if they were forgotten by other casino patrons after they had finished playing. When someone picks up the purse and begins to walk towards an exit, police officers will arrest them on theft charges. Thus, the purse has acted as “bait” to catch an unsuspecting casino guest.

Depending on the amount of money and valuables placed inside the purse, a person caught in a bait purse sting can potentially face felony grand larceny charges, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000. Oftentimes, police officers will fill these bags with enough property to warrant the maximum criminal penalties for those who are caught in their trap.

Defenses for Bait Purse Theft Cases

Oftentimes, bait purses are picked up by innocent individuals or tourists without criminal histories who are looking to find its rightful owner once they have returned home. It is well within the realm of possibility that a person would pick up a purse with the intention of searching its contents for the owner’s identification once they have left a crowded casino.

This type of sting is also controversial in nature due to its possibility of being interpreted as entrapment. Entrapment occurs when law enforcement creates a crime scenario in order to catch a criminal, thereby inducing the crime itself. This is a full and valid legal defense for those who are caught in bait purse sting operations.

Arrested? Hire a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in Las Vegas

If you have been arrested for a bait purse theft, it is imperative that you retain the services of a top-rated Las Vegas criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of David R. Fischer to defend your rights. Having earned a Super Lawyers® designation and a 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating for our outstanding legal advocacy and aggressive defense techniques, our firm is fully equipped to maximize your chances of securing a positive outcome for your situation.

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