Jersey City Police are setting up fake Amazon packages and cameras in an effort to identify and catch the parcel thieves commonly referred to as “porch pirates.”
According to the Associated Press, the police “are teaming up with Amazon to install doorbell cameras and plant dummy boxes with GPS tracking devices” outside the homes of police volunteers, selecting locations based on “crime statistics and mapping of theft locations provided by Amazon.”
The effort has already caught at least one porch pirate, who reportedly stole a parcel within three minutes of it being placed outside.
“We had a box out on the street for three minutes before it was taken… We thought it was a mistake at first,” declared Police Captain James Crecco, whose own mother was a victim of porch piracy.
“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,” added Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly. “With the bait packages, some will be under video surveillance, and some will have GPS.”
In a statement, Amazon proclaimed, “We appreciate the increased effort by local law enforcement to tackle package theft and remain committed to assisting however we can.”
Amazon has attempted to curb porch piracy with the release of Amazon Key — a service which allows couriers to deliver packages inside your home when you’re out using a camera and “smart lock.”
The service and kit, which was put on the market last year, allows the courier to “drop off the package, relock the door with another swipe, and [be] on their way,” as the customer receives a “notification that their delivery has arrived, along with a short video showing the drop-off to confirm everything was done properly,” according to the Verge.
58 percent of Amazon Prime customers in a survey, however, stated they would not want to purchase Amazon Key, with only 5 percent saying they would “definitely buy” the product.