Police use high-tech tactics to track down ‘porch pirates'

It's Cyber Monday and that means millions of Americans are shopping online for the best deals. (Nov. 28, 2016)

It’s Cyber Monday and that means millions of Americans are shopping online for the best deals. 

"I pretty much do all my holiday shopping online,” said Roseville local Susan Angelone. 

But as shoppers turn to the web, so-called “porch pirates” could be close by waiting to strike. 

"From 2014 to 2015, we saw a 50 percent increase in package theft related calls,” said Detective Rob Pratt with the Roseville Police Department. 

That’s why starting this week, the Roseville Police Crime Suppression Unit will be hiding GPS devices in packages to track down would-be crooks.

"So, it will be a package with bubble wrap and feel like a normal package in weight; it will look like a normal package (and) it will be sealed appropriately,” Pratt said.

And then with permission from the homeowner, the package will be placed on the front porch as bait. 

It’s similar to a program started by the Rancho Cordova Police Department last year. 

"We pull up the device on our computer screen, as soon as it moves, we can determine what direction its going,” said Sgt. Mike Robertson with the Rancho Cordova Police Department. 

Law enforcement officials say package theft is a serious issue across the country. In 2015, 23 million Americans fell victim to this crime. 

"I think it's really great. It's one way to catch them and maybe even prevent them from doing it in the first place, if they know there's a possibility of getting caught,” Angelone said. 

Roseville Police will be looking for ‘Porch Pirates’ through New Year’s Day.

 

Copyright 2016 KXTV


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