PULLMAN, WA-As it gets colder and we draw closer to the holidays a crime of opportunity sits right outside your front door, it's package thefts
But Pullman Police is ready to help you identify a Grinch from a Santa with new undercover technology.
Take a look at this caught on camera footage from the Lewiston Police Department last year of a package thief.
It's a problem we're seeing in every community, including Pullman.
Sergeant Jake Opgenorth tells us thefts have almost reached double digits.
"I think they are just crimes of opportunity we haven't seen any M.O. that stands out. It's been spread throughout the city and different times throughout the day," Opgenorth said.
Pullman Police stresses the importance of reporting stolen packages not only to the delivery service but to their department.
They're collecting information, so once they see a pattern they can set out their bait.
"Set out fake packages with GPS tracking hardware so we can track down the thief," Opgenorth said.
It looks exactly like a normal package but inside a hidden GPS tracker that updates every six seconds.
Take a look at the screen this is me moving around with the stolen package inside the Pullman Police Department see how it's updating by my movement.
"It's new technology for us we just got it this season so we are ready to use it if we see a pattern," Opgenorth said.
Some tips to prevent package theft Pullman Police says is to install cameras to catch a thief in action or post signs that you have security.
"Just asking the carrier not to deliver it until you're there or that you need to sign for it," Opgenorth said.
If allowed having packages sent to your workplace could also be an alternative. Pullman Police tells us this is a year-round crime but they do see a spike during the holidays and with the changing popularity of online shopping services.
"More people are shopping online having their packages delivered and so the more that happens the more opportunities there are for thefts right of your porch," Opgenorth said.