First arrest in new program to stop package thefts from local porches

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio- One week ago, Cuyahoga Falls Police publicly announced that detectives would be placing so-called bait packages around the city, outfitted with GPS tracking devices that would allow officers to follow wherever the package would go and quickly apprehend would-be thieves.

Investigators say 20-year-old Alonzo Porter of Akron apparently did not get the memo.

Authorities say Porter took a package that police had placed on the porch of a home on Graham Road on Thursday afternoon, as undercover detectives staked out the home and other officers tracked the movement of the GPS inside the parcel.

Lt. Gary Merton told FOX 8 News, "We've had a victim that had reported several packages being stolen from his porch over a period of time, so we thought it might be a good idea to take our bait package out to that address.”

Investigators say Alonzo Porter initially told the arresting officers that the package belonged to him. It was then that they told him there was a GPS inside the box and that they watched the crime unfold. This is not the first time that modern technology has gotten Porter into trouble.

Police records indicate that he was arrested in 2015, after using Facebook messaging to lure an Akron man to his home, where an accomplice pistol whipped and robbed the victim.

Detectives say the theft charge that Alonzo Porter now faces, should serve as a warning that the long arm of the law has never had a greater reach.

"We're hoping to instill in the people that would do that, is that this might be the bait package that you're picking up and you might not want to make the theft, you know, so hopefully it will deter people and then actually if they do commit the theft, we have a chance to actually apprehend them,” said Lt. Merton.

Court records indicate that at the time of his arrest for stealing the bait package, Porter was out on bond, after pleading guilty two weeks ago to a charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.