I have no love for scumbags who ride off with other people’s property. But I don’t believe for a second the problem of bike theft will get solved by staging publicity stunts disguised as police work. Sure, orchestrating a theft where one would not have otherwise occurred with the intention of making a single arrest may offer a momentary surge of karmic satisfaction. And it gives police the opportunity to look like heroes to the city’s growing cyclist community—PR the department badly needs; but at the end of the day, the net effect on bike thefts in the city will be exactly zilch (unless you count the bait bike itself, which I’m guessing no one actually rides anyway). That’s because these kinds of programs—which come dangerously close to entrapment (in spirit, if not in law)—are exponentially more likely to net simple opportunists than serial bike thieves.