A Route Fifty article (2018-12-20) highlighted the efforts of local police departments across the nation to deal with the increasingly prevalent scourge of “porch pirates” – people who steal packages from the front steps or porches of homes. The crime has increased across the nation as Internet shopping becomes more and more popular.
The article cited one example in Harford County, Maryland, where a 46-year-old man was allegedly had his five-year-old daughter steal packages from porches. In response, police departments nationwide have begun to specifically target this type of package theft. The article discussed how several different police departments have approached the issue by using decoy packages. From the article:
[Elk Grove, California] isn’t the only city where police have used decoy packages. St. Paul, Minnesota has been using decoys recently. Shortly after police in Jersey City, New Jersey deployed decoy packages, law enforcement made easy arrests in short time.
In Piqua, Ohio, police have a decoy program that involves tracking equipment. “We know our citizens appreciate some of our previous decoy efforts, and we think we will find some citizens that will want to participate with this program,” Police Chief Bruce Jamison told Piqua Daily Call this week.
A representative of the Elk Grove Police Department noted in the article that even if a decoy program does not yield many arrests, it can still have a deterrent effect.
Fox 5 Television Article on Harford County Incident (2018-12-19)