New Jersey police departments use tech to battle would-be holiday package thieves

Many police departments are using dummy packages with GPS trackers inside.

Karina Gerry

Dec 7, 2023, 1:28 AM

Updated 218 days ago

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Grinches are getting bolder this year. Video from Gloucester Township shows a woman stealing packages from three different homes over the weekend. She was even caught by one homeowner but was able to talk her way out of it.
“She purported that she worked for some type of delivery service which was not true,” explained Gloucester Township Police Chief David Harkins.
The Gloucester Township Police Department is now setting traps to nab these thieves.
“We’ll put out bait packages,” Harkins said. “They’re deployed throughout the township, so you’ll never know if that package that got stolen has a GPS tracking device. You’ll have a police officer pull you over for stealing that package.”
Other police departments throughout the state have turned to technology to ensure packages end up where they belong. In 2020, Bayonne police arrested at least two people who stole dummy packages. Elizabeth police have used GPS tracking in previous years, as well as this season.
“We’re going to continue to look at the technology available,” Harkins said. “Anything that we can do over the years…and we’re going to do what we have to do to stay a step ahead of these criminals.”
It has been considered a felony since 2022 to steal a package in New Jersey, with a sentence of up to five years.


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