skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 98229 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Assessing the 'Sting' - An Evaluation of the LEAA Property Crime Program
Author(s): R A Bowers; J W McCullough
Corporate Author: University City Science Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 150
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
University City Science Ctr
Washington, DC 20005
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-NI-AX-0045
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This independent evaluation of 16 property crime programs, using a sting-type operation, examined program effectiveness in terms of identification and apprehension of thieves and fences, recovery of stolen property, and crime deterrence and reduction.
Abstract: Data were collected from site visits, official records, and formal and informal interviews. Of the 16 original programs, 6 were chosen for intensive review. These were in Detroit, Fort Worth, Tex.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Mo.; Overland Park, Kans.; and Los Angeles. The number of suspects encountered ranged from 96 to 554; the number involved in transactions ranged from 84 to 284. Fort Worth arrested 91 percent of those encountered; the other sites arrested about 50 percent. In all but one site, suspects were active criminals with two or more prior felony arrests. Automobiles and portable and frequently stolen items were the most common types of property purchased. Property transactions ranged from 126 to 806; the median price paid per transaction ranged from $100 to $400. The median value of recovered property ranged from $450 to $7,000. The projects successfully arrested and convicted a fairly large number of criminals. Overall, findings indicate that such proactive undercover operations can be and have been effective in arresting certain types of criminals, particularly career thieves engaged primarily in burglary, larceny, and/or motor vehicle theft. The high dollar value of recovered property suggests that the approach is cost-effective and can result in a substantial return on law enforcement investment. Advantages and disadvantages of these programs are discussed. Tabular data and additional research materials and data are appended.
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Police research; Police-run fencing operations; Program evaluation; Theft offenses; Undercover activity
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.