Campbell PD using bait package program to catch thieves

CAMPBELL, Calif. (KGO) -- If you did any holiday shopping, chances are your packages are going up the conveyer belt, ready to ship and make their way to your door.

Unfortunately, thieves are also waiting for those packages, and now Campbell wants to catch them red-handed.

Campbell police say one to two residents are victims every day. "We're tired. We're tired of our citizens being victimized," Captain Joe Cefalu said.

Cefalu is now hoping you steal their delivery.

Campbell PD's bait package program is pretty simple. Officers have UPS, DHL or some other service deliver the package to a front door with a GPS tracker inside. If the package moves, officers swarm in for the arrest.

In fact, ABC7 News saw what happens when an alert goes off. One of their packages was moved just after 8:30 a.m.

Officers received an alert on their phone but it turned out to be a false alarm. A landscaper with a leaf blower jostled the package.

But this first run shows the tracker works. Let it be a warning to all the thieves out there.

"Don't come to Campbell. Don't steal packages because you don't know if it's a real one or if it's ours," Cefalu said.

The program is already getting a lot of support around town. People are tired of the thefts.

"It feels terrible," Dr. Robert Martines said.

Martines had a package stolen from his office. He also happens to be a board member for the Campbell Police Foundation.

The nonprofit helped pay for the GPS trackers. "Generally, Campbell has been a safe and wonderful place to live and have a business. We just like to keep it that way," Martines said.

Campbell is the first city in Northern California to run this bait package program. If it's successful, expect it to come to a city near you.
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