Police Use Laptop Box As Bait To Catch Christmas Delivery Thief

A man in Minnesota accused of snatching packages from porches chose the wrong house last weekend. US Police pulled over 36-year-old Raymond Montel Hester around 4:15am on Saturday and found a stolen laptop package. How did they know it was stolen? Police put a GPS device in the delivery box and tracked down the guy as soon as it started moving.

"There are bait cars and bait bicycles," Kaylin Eidsness, Public Information Officer for Edina Fire and police departments, told Gizmodo over the phone. This just happened to be a bait laptop box.

The laptop box was placed on an Edina porch with permission from the homeowners on December 6th. It was finally snapped up by Hester in the early hours of Saturday, a full 10 days later.

And the bait laptop package wasn't the only thing this alleged thief had in his car when they tracked him down. Police say that they found even more stolen boxes from other homes when they pulled him over.

The Edina Police (you might recall Edina is where the "cake-eaters" are from in Mighty Ducks) tweeted out a warning to would-be thieves about the laptop trick.

Bait packages have become increasingly common across the US as more and more people buy their holiday presents online and get them delivered. Everywhere from Boston to Oregon, police are using delivery boxes (most commonly Amazon boxes, of course) to catch thieves.

So people have even taken matters into their own hands, like the woman in Hillsboro, Oregon, who stuffed a box with dirty diapers and left it on her porch. After someone stole a package containing her baby's new pajamas, she left the stinky present with a note inside reading "Enjoy this, you thief!"

So will Edina police be trying this trick again? Are there more bait laptop boxes on seemingly vulnerable porches? Edina Police won't say.

"Unfortunately it's still an active investigation," Eidsness told Gizmodo. "If it works, I assume [Edina Police will do it again], but we don't know."

"As the case moves along, there will be more information," she said.

I think we can take that as a yes.

[Star Tribune and Pioneer Press]

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