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Police using new technology to catch porch pirates

Posted at 5:42 PM, Nov 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 00:53:03-05

Cyber Monday packages are about to make their way to doorsteps, which means more opportunities for porch thieves. 

"I'm constantly tracking my packages to see where it’s at and when it’s going to be delivered and if I can get to the house that's even better," said Sara Kiahosseini, a Chandler resident who worries about her packages getting stolen.

But thieves need to look out, that package could be a bait box, a package containing a tracker planted by police. 

"A normal person would not even know, if I had opened a package with a tracking unit in it, you can't see it, it's so small," said Officer Robin Atwood with Chandler Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit. 

Once the bait box is on the move, Atwood says the tracker comes out of sleep mode, setting off alarms in the dispatch room to alert dispatchers and officers in the area. 

"They can actually see the movement, how fast it's going, what direction of travel it's going," said Atwood. 

The tracker also alerts the department's Crime Prevention Unit that a thief is on the hook. 

"We want these criminals to know we have these devices out there and if they grab one of them they're going to be caught" warns Atwood. 

But police say the best deterrent are neighbors like Kiahosseini who take precautions and watch out for neighbors. 

"I've gone to ring doorbells at my neighbors at night when I see packages at the front door and say 'hey you got a package out here, you need to pick it up,” said Kiahosseini.

Other ways you can help police: 

  • Know when your packages are about to be delivered. Don't let them sit outside. 
  • If you're not going to be home, have them delivered to your work location or a neighbor's house if they're at home. 
  • Stay Alert. If you see a porch theft, try and get a photo of the suspect or car on your phone, take note of what they're wearing, type of car and direction they went and call authorities.