Bait boxes helping decrease SoCal package thefts

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- Arcadia police say a recent UPS delivery robbery is unfortunately part of the holiday season, but thanks to a successful program, the local theft rate is decreasing.

A UPS driver called for help after a suspect robbed her mid-delivery along San Carlos Avenue in South Gate Monday night.

Cindy Pinedo was on the closing shift at a nearby Metro PCS store as police searched for the suspect and the packages stolen from inside the truck.

"It surprises me because you don't really hear stuff like that happening around here. It's a pretty good neighborhood," Pinedo said.

But this type of crime doesn't surprise investigators. In fact, the Arcadia Police Department has been fighting it for years.

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In December of 2015, the department started putting out bait boxes in the height of package theft season.

The boxes are packages with GPS trackers inside, and they're proving to be successful.

"We had over 100 arrests in a few months and, again, it became more successful and so we obtained even more boxes," said Arcadia Police Lt. Colleen Flores.

Flores said in the last two years, with help from retailers and community members, they've reduced the theft rate by 8 percent. The idea has since spread to other departments.

"Even if they don't have the funds to get the program going, they've collaborated with UPS, they've collaborated with their local malls to help purchase the GPS devices, and the police department can monitor the devices," she added.

But for the UPS driver robbed, it was a rough start to the holiday delivery season - a season that's just beginning.
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