Forget bait cars, how about bait packages? The Albuquerque Police Department is trying out a new way to stop porch pirates this holiday season.

“We want to get these guys into custody and make them aware that we’re out there looking for them,” Officer Simon Drobik said.

That’s why police say the department is trying something new this holiday season using tracking devices, similar to what their auto theft unit uses in bait cars.

Those tracking devices will be put in phony packages to try and bait crooks around the city.

“We’ve pre-determined where these packages are going,” Officer Drobik said. “We’re working with the public, working with different businesses, entities that the city has already owned to leave these packages at their doorstep.”

The department is hoping this trial run will not only save time, but money.

“We don’t have to sit there traditionally, watch a street and eat up man-hours,” Officer Drobik said. “We can just wait for the crook to come take the bait.”

The problem is so bad this time of year, it happened close to us while a KRQE News crew was out shooting this story. A man was caught on surveillance video strolling down an alley in the downtown area.

Minutes later, he’s caught again on video, this time in front of a family’s home. KRQE News 13 spoke with the homeowner.

“Somebody was at my front door, looked like they were selling something and they picked up a big box that was left there and it was actually a Christmas gift,” the man said. 

A Christmas gift that was just delivered an hour before the thief showed up. APD said officers hope this new idea will prevent families from losing those Christmas gifts
“They’re never going to know if they’re stealing an innocent package or they’re stealing one of our packages that’s been baited,” Officer Drobik said.

APD said anyone can volunteer their home and allow detectives to put bait packages out on the porch. If you’d like to partner with APD, call the Crime Stoppers’s hotline at 505-768-2256.