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

Tom Gantert

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)
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Bern
Bern

So the message is if its where you can see it, even though it doesn't belong to you Take it

Propolice
Propolice

This story actually frightens me. To think you have to apologize for catching thieves. 🤬🤬🤬

308Rem
308Rem

No-one forced them to break into the truck and steal. Apology, really. Grow some balls and stop kissing political ass.

dbosse
dbosse

Sting to bait "kids"? "Terrell Melvin, 21, David King, 36, and Floyd Allen, 59, were initially charged with burglary"

LEOWIDOW
LEOWIDOW

Really? Just because it’s a poor neighborhood and those are Nikes in the truck, that gives lead to burglarize them? Can you say “Failure to launch?” This is asinine! I grew up poor and had nothing, but that did not give me the right to take what was not mine. Another entitlement defense and furthermore these were not children these were grown ass adults!

moonknight15694
moonknight15694

Retired NYPD . I remember using a bait car and making an arrest . You know all the people on the street that night and not a peep out of one person . Why? Cus people use to get summonsed or collared for interfering with a police investigation . The video camera is not kryptonite for arrest.

bluedog_2g2
bluedog_2g2

21, 36 and 59 year old suspects can hardly be considered youth. Also, the story stated that the contents of the truck were not made public, before the arrests. I'm curious to know how many previous arrest and/or convictions these suspects had. Any previous arrests would eliminate the claim of "baiting". It's yet again, another story of blaming the victim(railroad), for trying to limit and/or eliminate their losses and not holding the suspects accountable, for their bad choices.

SPAlumni
SPAlumni

Children? The dirty filthy gutter mouthed commentators aren't children. They're animals from the hoe litters.

RubyRose
RubyRose

So because I work at a bank it’s okay to steal money from the bank??

FRANCIN
FRANCIN

THEY DO IT FOR PROSTITUTES AND JOHNS WHY NOT THE DRUG DEALERS.AND THIEVES..YES IN THE GHETTO..THAT'S WHERE ALL ILLEGAL ACTIVITY BEGINS...THE NEIGHBORHOOD ACTS LIKE THEY NEVER DID ANYTHING ILLEGAL BEFORE....

All5xx
All5xx

Didn't know Black people are legally allowed to steal Nike shoes without facing justice. Was that in the hidden in the Emancipation Proclamation somewhere?

Gunner_Reah
Gunner_Reah

In other news the woman was raped by a gang in the ghetto. Police arrested the suspects, but had to let them go after community outcry, since per ghetto law it was the woman’s fault, due to ownership of a vagina

Mortician72
Mortician72

This is total B.S. three adults who should know better breaking into a vehicle and let go because it was a sting operation. I guess if a vehicle had broken down or just parked in the area because someone lived there or was making a delivery it would be OK to arrest them. But, a bait car is not a legal way to catch thieves. Tell me, what the hell is the difference? I would guess if you are black you can get away with murder but, if it was a white person, they would still be locked up. Unfu*&ing believable.

Sensei1
Sensei1

This is the end product of liberalism: Entitled, unemployed, dependent lowlife's and the corrupt entitled lowlife's like the politicians in Chiraq-like Herronor Rahm and the other closet queen Barry O!


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