“Operation Grinch Pinch” sting in North Texas

The holiday season is the prime time for thieves to steal packages from porches.

Fort Worth Police are planting GPS trackers in random packages for Fort Worth residents who have a 24/7 surveillance video system installed. When the tracker senses motion, it alerts nearby officers.

Houston Police Officer Don Vo said regardless of the season, thieves are always on the prowl.

"Thieves, they know when Apple products are being released, so on release day, you're going to have it shipped to your home," said Vo. "You're a criminal, you're going to know, like, 'oh, on this day, all these Apple products are going to be shipped out'. And, it comes in a very distinctive, small sized box," said Vo.

He said there's no plans for HPD to do such a sting to catch porch pirates, but did offer seven tips:

  • ask for tracking number--notifies you when it will be delivery
  • request a signature delivery option--requires signature when delivered
  • have packages held at the shipping company's customer service center
  • choose a different door--ask the delivery service to leave packages at a back or side door
  • have packages delivered to a relative, friend or neighbor who will be at home
  • ask a trustworthy neighbor to watch for deliveries
  • make a police report if a package is stolen. HPD is very data driven and tracks crime trends. Many people have home safety devices that can capture surveillance video. Turn over any video evidence to police

FWPD’s "Operation Grinch Pinch" will continue until the end of the year.

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