Victoria police target those who target tourists

Bait cars used in arresting three suspects last week in Victoria

Targeting tourists cars proved a flaw for criminals after Victoria police set up a series of bait cars in the city last week.

VicPD and the Integrated Municipal Auto Crime Team (IMPACT) launched Operation Tourist Trap last week to target car thieves in identified hot spots to combat rising auto crime rates. VicPD reported a 160 per cent increase in theft from autos over the previous three months, primarily from tourist’s vehicles.

Three high-profile offenders were taken off Victoria’s streets.

Victoria men Robert Tait, 35, Steven Patterson, 34, and John Koehler were arrested.  Police used bait car video to identify suspects. Police also identified a fourth man they hope to apprehend.

Combined, Tait, Koehler and Patterson have accumulated nearly one hundred convictions, mainly for property offences.