Deputies use bait boxes to catch package thieves

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The frustration is very real for a lot of us. You have a package sent to your door, only to have someone walk up and grab it.

But porch pirates may have just met their match.

We see video just about every day on sites like Nextdoor of another porch pirate stealing something that was just delivered.

Enter the the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies are leaving fake packages on door steps in areas that are being hit by package thieves.

These bait boxes have tracking devices that show deputies the exact location of the package, and there are officers nearby ready to swoop in and stop the bad guys before they get too far.

Deputies say if you have a package stolen, don't just notify the delivery company. They urge you to call them too, so they can set up even more sting operations.

"The whole point of doing these operations and letting the public know what we are doing is for deterrence," said Javier Urena with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "If we can deter the crime, that's even better."

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Mail theft comes with serous jail time.

If you are caught, you could face up to five years in prison and fines.

If you live in Harris County and have an unwanted encounter with a porch pirate, let the sheriff's office know by calling 713-221-6000.

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