Railroad PD Apologizes For Catching Thieves With Bait Truck After Viral Outrage

Police launched a sting operation to catch people stealing guns and ammunition.

Chicago, IL – The Norfolk Southern Railroad Police Department apologized Friday after they were recorded conducting a sting operation after guns and ammunition had been stolen recently from in-transit freight containers.

A freight truck was parked in several locations a few blocks from the rail yards in the area where the thefts had happened in hopes of luring the criminals back.

Three men were arrested and charged with burglary for breaking into the trucks during the sting, according to USA Today.

However, some community members claimed police were “baiting” young people who played basketball in the parks near the railway because the freight truck was loaded with Nike basketball shoes.

A video was posted on YouTube where angry community members accused police of using the truck to lure children from the nearby park.

"Freight theft specifically in this area has been increasing as the volume of rail traffic moving through the city of Chicago also increased," Norfolk Southern Railway Spokeswoman Susan Terpay said, according to USA Today. "This week’s police operation was intended to directly combat such unacceptable thefts.”

Terpay said the truck was never parked near a basketball court and was not left open so that the thieves wouldn't know was was in the trailers until after they broke in, according to USA Today.

Chicago police said that Terrell Melvin, 21, David King, 36, and Floyd Allen, 59, were initially charged with burglary after the truck’s trailer was broken into last week.

However, all charges were dropped Thursday after community outrage.

Some community members said the “bait” truck full of Nike shoes was left in a poor neighborhood and was an obvious attempt to target black youth.

"The police parked a truck with boxes of Nike shoes in front of kids, lifted up, and when people hop in the truck, the police hopping out on them " said Charles McKenzie in a video he posted on Facebook.

In another video a man swears at police officers as he approached them about the sting.

"Y'all dirty, man," the man yelled at police. "Y'all see kids playing ball and you pull a f----- Nike truck into the ghetto."

The railroad apologized on Friday for catching the thieves.

"Norfolk Southern recognizes that, despite the need to safeguard freight in the area, this operation eroded trust between law enforcement and the community," the statement read, in part. "We sincerely regret that our actions caused further unease, and we don't plan to use this method in the future."

You can see a viral video from one of the stings below:

Comments (76)
No. 1-25
Tmorh
Tmorh

What kind of an ignorant society are we making

DavidPeoria
DavidPeoria

The citizens of Chicago are dooming themselves. Seems like the citizens who are tired of crime in their community believe that their children are predisposes to commit crime with out a thought.

burgerallday
burgerallday

Insanity

walkintall
walkintall

Every municipality ultimately gets the style, type, and behavior of the local policing that they want. They do this by electing the officials who will appoint the managers who will direct the type of policing that is desired.....BY THE VOTERS. If the people of Chicago want a change, the answer is obvious. Elect leaders who will appoint managers who will let the Chicago area policing departments to do their job without impediment.

crankydude33
crankydude33

Complete bulls%it I wouldn't work for a bunch of ass kissing leaders like these. Bowing down to the criminals