Agencies Across the US Are Using GPS Tracking Technology to Catch Porch Pirates

12 Dec 2019

Porch pirates are out in force during all seasons. While the holidays present more tempting targets, there is no time of year that is safe from people out to steal packages left on porches across the country. Unfortunately, current arrest rates for these thefts are low. Even with the widespread use of surveillance cameras and Ring security monitors in place, less than 10 percent of reported thefts ever result in arrests.

Not Just a Big City Problem

You might be surprised to discover that rural states have the highest reported package theft instances with North Dakota leading the way. In fact, CNBC reports that North Dakota residents are 26 times more likely to have packages stolen.

Ultimately, thieves have discovered that fewer people are watching, or specifically looking out for package thieves, in small towns across the country or rural areas. That makes it easier for them to take the packages without being discovered.

How Agencies are Responding

In the past, law enforcement has seemed powerless to effectively stop thieves in their tracks, though some law enforcement agencies are taking a novel approach to address the rising problem of porch pirates in their communities, including Greenville, North Carolina’s police department is placing GPS trackers in random packages in an attempt to catch thieves in the act. However, the department has announced that the true goal is deterrence.

They’re not interested in catching a lot of thieves in the act, but rather to discourage the thefts in the first place. Perhaps that is why they are being open about their efforts ahead of time rather than stating their intentions afterward.

There are things the WBTW report suggests people do in order to reduce their risks of being targeted by package thieves, including:

  • Require signatures for delivery.
  • Having packages delivered to alternate locations, such as work or community management offices.
  • Investing in doorbell cameras or whole home surveillance systems.
  • Ask for Amazon packages to be delivered to your garage.

Many people are surprised to learn that remaining home on the day of delivery provides littler deterrence to thieves and little protection for the packages. As they remain bolder in their efforts to grab and go with your packages, it is becoming more and more difficult for law enforcement to prevent these thefts.

GPS tracking for law enforcement agencies to follow the packages, once stolen, and make arrests without other factors getting in the way.

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