By CBSLA Staff

ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — Officers from Anaheim Police Department are ramping up their bait package program to catch thieves with stolen valuables as Christmas quickly approaches. 

“Once we get the notification that the package has moved,” said Officer Andrei Bratiloveanu. “We can have officers converge at the location.”

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Bratiloveanu and the task force place bait packages filled with more than $1,000 worth of goods such as iPhones, in front of residences. Police pack the boxes with $1,000 worth of goods to make it a felony if someone steals it. 

“They are prior victims of either mail theft or package theft,” said Officer Andrei Bratiloveanu. “We place the package at the front door and we wait for the signal to go off.” 

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The sting begins as officers in plain clothes cruising around in an unmarked blacked van drop off the package equipped with a GPS tracker at the resident’s doorstep. Once the bait has been set, officers wait for someone to grab the package. 

“Dispatch will get the notification that the package has moved and they’re able to relay to officers at what speed and which direction the package goes in,” said Bratiloveanu.

Once the package is stolen an alarm alerts dispatchers who in turn notify officers. 

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APD has used this method of catching porch pirates for several years during the holiday season but plans to use the program year-round.