Porch Pirates

YAKIMA, WA - Porch pirates are far to common during the holiday season and in an effort to try and catch some of these thieves several agencies joined forces.

The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) contacted the Yakima County Prosecutor's Office and the police department to put together a sting operation.

"We basically placed packages on some porches... We placed these packages with trackers inside so that we could track the location of the packages should they be stolen," said Matt Lee, Yakima Police Department.

The plan turned out to be successful.

Five people were arrested and are now facing felony charges for theft and possession of stolen property, but in order to have a successful operation lots of planning went into effect.

"Package thefts are common in Yakima, and in fact as part of this program when we started meeting about it they had created heat maps showing where the thefts started occurring dating back to November of 2017," said Joseph Brusic, Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney

For any porch pirates thinking this is only a holiday season operation, think again.

The USPIS says they will continue with these operations in Yakima and in others cities.

"The real success will come when hopefully people realize, 'Wow, I don't want to steal,' and they start second guessing themselves every time they look at a parcel or a piece of mail and they think, 'Alright, I might get caught so I don't want to steal,' for me that is the real success," said Mitch Vanicek, United States Postal Inspector.

The USPIS does these operations all year round not just during the holidays, because unfortunately package thefts happen all the time.

Multi-Media Journalist

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