Amazon helped police plant fake packages to try to trap thieves

Paul Sakuma/AP PhotosAmazon is reportedly helping police catch package thieves.

Amazon has helped the police lure would-be thieves with fake packages, according to a report published Thursday by Motherboard, a Vice site specializing in technology news.

The tech giant helped the police department in Hayward, California, carry out a sting called “Operation Safe Porch” that involved planting Amazon-branded “bait” packages rigged with GPS tracking devices on porches last fall, Motherboard reported.

The report cites emails between Amazon’s “national package theft team” and the Hayward Police Department showing details of the program, including that Amazon provided boxes, tape, and lithium-ion stickers for the sting.

Read more:
Amazon plants fake packages in delivery trucks as part of an undercover ploy to ‘trap’ drivers who are stealing

In response to the report, an Amazon representative told Motherboard: “We appreciate the effort by local law enforcement to tackle package theft in their communities, and we remain committed to assisting them in their efforts however we can.”

It’s unclear whether the sting resulted in any arrests.

This isn’t the first time Amazon has been involved in a sting operation. Business Insider reported in September that Amazon planted empty packages with fake labels in delivery trucks to catch drivers who might be stealing.

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