Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Porch Pirate Bait Operation

MESA COUNTY, Colo - 'Tis the season for holiday shopping and unfortunately packages to be stolen. Historically, this time of year, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office sees an increase in these crimes. In an effort to prevent packages from being stolen from people's homes and cars, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office is conducting bait operations all this month.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office utilizes bait operations as a proactive investigative tool to reduce property crime. Operations are conducted in areas where on-going criminal activity has been reported to specially target people breaking and entering into cars with the intent to steal property as well as those intending to steal packages off porches. Bait operations give deputies a proactive way to identify suspects without a citizen becoming a victim of a crime.

How it works

Deputies place tracking devices in commonly stolen items, packages, and bags, then place them in neighborhoods and in cars at local businesses where these crimes are occurring. Deputies also monitor the items with active surveillance. When the item is stolen, deputies then locate the item and the person who took it.

The decoy items look exactly like the real thing, making it nearly impossible for a would-be thief to tell the difference. This operation aims not only to identify who in our community is committing these crimes but also for criminals to think twice before taking someone's package.

Prevention Tips
Community members can help the Mesa County Sheriff's Office prevent these crimes by following these simple tips.

  • While out shopping, keep your recently purchased items in your trunk or out of sight in your car.
  • Lock your car. Remember to lock your vehicle when you are not in it, even if you are only running a quick errand. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to strike.
  • If you are buying a big-ticket item, take it home and leave it in a secure place before continuing your shopping.
Package delivery:
  • Limit the amount of time your package sits on your porch.
  • Track your package. If you are not going to be home when scheduled to arrive, ask a neighbor to store it.
  • Have the package delivered to your business instead of your home.
  • Use the Amazon Locker to pick it up from a secure location.
  • Hold your packages at the Post Office and pick them up.