Police 'baiting' thieves; using GPS to track stolen packages

CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga Falls Police Dept. has turned to technology to track down packages stolen off porches, and it's just in time for the holidays.

The new program involves slipping GPS trackers into various objects, such as purses and packages, and monitoring them for potential thieves.

Officers nearby are able to monitor the trackers using a cellphone app.

The app makes a noise when the tagged item is moved then it gives you turn-by-turn directions so you can follow it.

City officials hope the program will deter people from stealing altogether.

Cleveland 19 News Reporter Dan DeRoos talked with Nancy Day Friday afternoon while she was moving into her new Cuyahoga Falls home, and she says she is an avid online shopper.

"Do you get a lot of stuff delivered?" DeRoos asked

"I do. A couple of times every couple of weeks," Day said.

Nancy got a little reassurance about those packages being delivered when she heard about the new program the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department is launching.

"People spend a lot of money on the things that they order on line or whatever, and to have someone steal them it's not right," Day said.

Several communities around the country have launched similar bait programs. Some departments put real products in the box because criminals are now opening the packages to see if it's something they want.

With this program now in Cuyahoga Falls watch out porch pirates!

"It makes me feel safer that the things I do order will be there when I come home and I'll have what I ordered, instead of somebody else having what I ordered," Day said.

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