Postal Service, police tempt thieves with bait parcels

Several arrests already made this week

A package thief steals a package from a porch. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The holiday shopping season is in full force, and people all over Portland want to make sure their packages end up in the right hands.

“We make sure that we know if anything valuable’s going to come that we monitor it,” said Portland mother Britt Williamson.

Sometimes, though, even that’s not enough.

“My mom had a package stolen over in her southeast Portland residence off of her front porch,” said Portland resident Jeff Connors. “And it was even well hidden.”

That’s exactly what the US Post Office wants to prevent. They’ve partnered with local police to put out bait parcels, which they hope will tempt thieves into stealing. After the theft, officers quickly swoop in to make an arrest.

US Postal Inspector Adam Sale says they’ve already made multiple arrests this week, and they hope this sting will be enough to deter porch pirates as the holidays approach.

“As our parcel and mail volume increases during the holiday season, we tend to see a slight increase in mail and parcel theft,” Sale said.

It goes without saying that the longer a package sits on your porch, the more likely it is to get stolen. This is especially true if you leave a parcel overnight; most thefts happen late at night or early in the morning.

“We don’t find a particular area or particular item that is stolen more than others,” Sale said. “We feel like mail thieves are kind of equal opportunity thieves. They steal from everybody.”

If one of your packages is stolen, you should contact police and the US Postal Service. They have a 24-hour help line at 1-877-876-2455.