Coeur d’Alene and Spokane Police increasing patrols to catch package thieves

Only eight days are left on the calendar before Christmas Day. You’ve really got to keep a watchful eye on your front porch to make sure your packages make it on time. Thieves are eyeing any packages left unattended to take for themselves.

A lot of people know them as ‘porch pirates,’ who see your package on the front porch, and if no one’s around, they run right up and steal it.

It’s become such a common crime, local police officers are increasing patrols to stop them.

From focusing on neighborhood patrols to even baiting criminals, officers in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene are doing everything they can to prevent someone from losing their presents this Christmas.

There is nothing worse than coming home to find your front porch bare of a package – one that you’ve been told has already arrived, especially when you’re fighting the calendar to Christmas.

“They’re predictable. Things are cyclical in our world, “said Capt. Lee Brainard of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, “Each season, we can expect certain types of crimes.”

In December, package theft is a common crime.

“Either randomly, or intentionally, they’ll follow a delivery truck and wait for a package to be dropped off,” Capt. Brainard said.

Coeur d’Alene Police know this strategy well, and they’re stepping up patrols to catch the people who commit these crimes.

“We’ll schedule emphasis patrols, where extra officers will come in and work particular areas,” Capt. Brainard said.

They’re being discreet while they do it.

“We can utilize unmarked vehicles to follow delivery vehicles,” Capt. Brainard said.

Coeur d’Alene Police are getting creative. Detectives are making bait packages to sting any potential crooks.

“It can be anything that resembles anything from a delivery company. But instead of an actual item inside, it may simply be a tracker,” Capt. Brainard said.

Spokane Police have been getting proactive as well. For the past month, officers have been educating the community and keeping their eye on your property before any criminals do.

“They are out there in the community, outside of their cop shops, driving around, and being even more visible than they usually are to let the crooks know – we are watching for you, and when we catch you, we are going to put you in jail,” said Ofc. John O’Brien, Spokane Police Department.

Police highly recommend tracking your packages. Check with the place you purchased from for a tracking ID number. This way, you can stay informed on approximately what time and day your package will arrive. If you know you won’t be home, you can ask a neighbor to hold onto it.

You can also look into getting your packaged delivered to a pick-up location, like in-store pickup, a UPS locker, or an Amazon locker.

Police want you to be mindful of leaving gifts or packages in cars as well. They said to store it where no one can see them, like the trunk or under a cover.