SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (CBS NEWS) – Some police departments are trying new methods to catch brazen criminals known as “porch pirates” — thieves who steal packages left on doorsteps.
Reports show at least 23 million Americans have fallen victim to the crime.
Police are now turning to technology for help, and doing their own deliveries, using bait packages with GPS trackers inside to find and arrest thieves.
In Campbell, California, homeowner Terry Bohlan’s security cameras caught a man approaching his porch before apparently making off with his delivery. “It’s one of those things in life you just don’t want you to go through,” Bohlan told CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal.
That motivated him to work with his local police department, who now uses his porch to drop off bait packages hoping to lure criminals.
Inside a regular shipping box, officers pack a common delivery item along with a GPS tracking device (the exact details of which they want to keep under wraps, so criminals don’t know what to look for).
“We found that a lot of times these thieves are opening up the boxes before they even leave to make sure it’s something that they want,” said Captain Gary Berg.
Brazen and picky.