Gloucester Twp. Police Deploy GPS Tracking System to Track Porch Pirates

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With all that online shopping, you may have to protect your purchases from would-be thieves. Porch pirates are thieves that look for home deliveries, resulting in stolen holiday gifts. 

Officials in one South Jersey town are taking down the crime, one package at a time.

Gloucester Township Police have released a new system to track down thieves.

Lt. Mark Benton, with the Gloucester Township Police, says his department is deploying packages equipped with GPS-tracking systems as bait for porch pirates.

“We have a GPS in it. It would look like any other box sitting on somebody’s porch," says Benton. "You wouldn’t know about it if someone were to come pick it up. We’d get notified of the movement of it, and then we’re able to go ahead and make our investigation and arrests based on that.”

Porch pirates could look forward to serious consequences if any home deliveries are stolen.

“Some people will say ... it’s like shoplifting [and] it might not be a big deal," says Benton. "[However], it can be because you don’t know what you’re taking. If you get something very high priced it could be indictable — in which case you’re gonna go to jail."

As soon as a package is swiped with detected motion, officers are notified to track down the thieves and make necessary arrests.

“We’ve had very good success with it," says Benton. "We actually had one that was attached to bikes and we’ve been able to make a few arrests already on those. Again, the more success we have, hopefully, they understand that [you] just don’t come to Gloucester Township intending to steal boxes.” 

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