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The explosion in online shopping has led to porch pirates and stoop surfers swiping holiday packages from unsuspecting residents. The cops in one city are trying to catch the thieves with some trickery of their own.
Police in Jersey City, across the Hudson River from New York, have teamed up with Amazon to install doorbell cameras and plant dummy boxes with GPS tracking devices at homes around the city.
Tuesday - Someone - Bait
They didn't have to wait long Tuesday for someone to take the bait.
'We had a box out on the street for three minutes before it was taken,' said police Capt. James Crecco, who is overseeing the mission. 'We thought it was a mistake at first.'
Suspect - Crecco
The suspect was caught, Crecco added.
Exact figures on porch thefts are hard to come by. A company commissioned by comparison-shopping service insuranceQuotes.com surveyed 1,000 people and extrapolated that 26 million Americans have had a holiday package stolen from their home. That would be nearly one in 12 Americans.
Amazon - Equipment - Jersey - City - Program
Amazon - which is providing equipment free for the Jersey City program - declined to provide figures on how many packages are reported stolen or missing, as did UPS and FedEx.
'We absolutely report them to local law enforcement when we hear of them, and we encourage our customers to do the same,' UPS spokesman Glenn Zaccara said.
Jersey - City - Police - Chief - Michael
Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly told The Associated Press that locations for cameras and boxes were selected using the city's own crime statistics and mapping of theft locations provided by Amazon.
'Most of the package thefts we've made arrests on revolve around (closed-circuit TV) or private surveillance cameras that give us a still image,' Kelly said. 'With the bait packages, some will be under video surveillance, and some will have GPS.'
Homeowner - Crecco - Mother - Victim - Package
No homeowner is immune. Crecco said his mother was a victim of a package theft. So...
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