Police are using fake Amazon boxes with GPS to catch thieves

One package sat out for just three minutes before someone took the bait.

'Tis the season for tons of Amazon packages arriving at your doorstep, but nothing puts a damper on the holidays like having one stolen. Police in Jersey City have been setting up fake Amazon boxes on doorsteps in order to catch thieves, according to the Associated Press. Law enforcement has installed doorbell cameras at homes where the sting operations are set up and rigged the packages with GPS tracking devices to catch the criminals.

The Jersey City police have been working with Amazon to set up the traps in areas where there have been a higher number of thefts reported. In one instance, a package was stolen just three minutes after it was set up on a porch. The suspect was nearly immediately caught by police. Not all operations have been that successful, and the program is limited in scope seeing as there's no way for the police to deliver and monitor packages at the same volume as Amazon. But the thought that stealing a box off a doorstep might lead to your arrest could deter some would-be criminals.

Package theft is certainly a problem, especially during the holiday season that is expected to see more than 800 million boxes to be delivered. It's nearly impossible to say just how prevalent the issue is, though. Xfinity Home, Comcast's home security service, estimates about 30 percent of Americans will experience have a package stolen at some point. A report from Insurance Quotes places that figure closer to 8 percent. Amazon has tried to address the issue with in-home deliveries through its Amazon Key service, though letting a stranger into your home may not be the best alternative to taking your chances with a package on your doorstep.