Homer Simpson is perhaps one of television’s most notorious scofflaws. The legal blog, Off the Record, has documented Mr. Simpson’s many crimes, contending that if he were to be punished, he could face life in jail plus 350 years and fines of $120 million. Among those many crimes are the nonpayment of 235 parking tickets. In the November 23, 1997, episode of the Simpsons, “Lisa the Skeptic,” Mr. Simpson was arrested for these parking violations when he attempted to claim a motorboat that he believed he had won in a police raffle. The prize, however, was a just the bait in a police sting operation. Mr. Simpson’s arrest won him a spot on Springfield’s Dumbest Criminals.
This past weekend, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ran a similar sting operation to lure in parole violators. The promise of $200 and amnesty enticed approximately 130 felons to show up at the Oakland parole office. Of those, 81 were taken into custody.
This was not the first time such an operation has been used successfully by real world law enforcement. In 2008, Cook County, Illinois, sheriff’s deputies nabbed 66 fugitives with the promise of federal economic stimulus checks. The sting was dubbed “Operation Rebate and Switch.”