CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio-- As more and more consumers do their holiday shopping online and have packages delivered to their homes, police are warning that criminals continue to take advantage and steal parcels from porches across the region.
The city of Cuyahoga Falls is responding to the unfortunate trend, with a crime prevention program that involves placing GPS tracking devices in packages on porches, or purses in unlocked cars.
The various items are designed to serve as bait for thieves, whose movements can then be tracked by police officers via their computers or phone apps.
"We're not trying to entrap people or have them do something they would not normally do, but if it would happen and we can track that package or that purse or that valuable item all over town and apprehend whoever would take it. We want to be a deterrent by using technology and let a would-be criminal know that we will have packages throughout town that are owned by the police department,” said Mayor Don Walters.
The bait packages and other items with the tracking devices will be placed on the porches of residents who have volunteered to help with the program and in high traffic areas around the city.
When asked why authorities are not keeping the parcel pilfering prevention program a secret, the mayor says he is hoping the mere threat of a tracking device will start making thieves think twice about taking what does not belong to them. "You can call us the package police or the porch police, whatever you want to call it, but we want to be a step ahead of that and put the word out,” said Walters.