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rcmaehl

Ding Dong Ditch - Amazon's failed Ring sting operation

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Source:
Vice

 

Summary:
Amazon, USPIS, and Aurora, Colorado Police setup up a sting operation to catch holiday package thieves. (Un?)luckily, none of the bait packages were stolen.

 

Media:
A watermark from a press release about the package theft sting operation from the Aurora Police Department shared with Motherboard.1561989983217-djsfkldsaj.png?crop=0.8914xw%3A0.9988xh%3B0.0451xw%2C0xh&resize=650%3A*&output-quality=55


Quotes/Excerpts:

Quote

New documents obtained by...a Freedom of Information request show how Amazon, Ring, a GPS tracking company, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service collaborated on a package sting operation with the Aurora, Colorado Police Department in December. The operation involved equipping fake Amazon packages with GPS trackers, and surveilling doorsteps with Ring doorbell cameras in an effort to catch someone stealing a package on tape. The Aurora Police Department received 25 Amazon boxes, Amazon-branded tape, and Amazon lithium ion stickers as a part of the operation. It also received 15 Ring doorbell cameras and 15 GL300W GPS trackers from 7P Solutions. “Operation Grinch Grab,” as it was called internally, involved seven Aurora zip codes. “As of now, we have not yielded any arrests,” Aurora Police Department captain Matthew Wells-Longshore wrote in an email on December 19. “I’m not sure if I should be happy or sad about that! Ha. Maybe happy that no one in the areas we are in are victims of package theft but sad that we won't be able to showcase an arrest.” Motherboard previously published documents describing a similar operation in Hayward, California. The police departments of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Jersey City, New Jersey have also conducted comparable package theft sting operations. An employee of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS)...was copied on several emails related to the operation, and a USPIS logo was included on an Aurora Police Department press release. USPIS provided support to the operation. “USPIS contributed to the sting operation on December 19, 2018 by providing Postal Inspectors in unmarked law enforcement vehicles to assist with surveillance of the dummy packages placed in neighborhoods in southeast Aurora,” Manuel told Motherboard. “Postal Inspectors were prepared to provide investigative assistance to APD in the event a package theft suspect was identified and was in possession of stolen U.S. mail.” Emails also shed light on a closely-coordinated public relations campaign involving Amazon, Ring, 7P Solutions, and the Aurora Police Department. Representatives from all parties coordinated the timing and content of Facebook posts and press releases. “We want to do a big P.R. push on this too,” Captain Redfearn wrote to representatives from Amazon, Ring, and 7P Solutions, “so I will give our [public information officer] office Morgan’s email to network about press/coverage.” These package theft sting operations show that Amazon and Ring are also engaging in intimate working relationships with specific police departments, and organizing the set-up of individual operations.

 

My Thoughts:
Next time on bait car package.... Regardless, I'd love to see more law enforcement step up on package thefts. There is not a week that goes by in my metro that a package isn't stolen. With the increase of ease of purchase and quick delivery, has come an increase in package theft. The vice article linked in the source does put a more negative view on this, however my personal opinion is that I appreciate law enforcement doing it as they generally don't have the time or materials needed to do this themselves due to other crimes and the paperwork that comes with.


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There has been a lot of previous evidence suggesting that packages are far less likely to be stolen when a camera is visibly present (such as a ring doorbell).  So, while that would've been nice for pictures of the thieves, I think that's likely what prevented this all from catching anybody in the first place.

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There are package thefts all the time captured on the Ring cameras in my surrounding area (San Gabriel Valley in CA). Most recently, one thief ripped open a package and left the owner's life-saving medication at owner's door step. ?

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Spoiler: thefts are either rare or uncommon and they're overly publicized.

The closest I've had to a theft was a package being picked up by a neighbor by accident. I got it back that night. 


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13 minutes ago, jdubya421 said:

Spoiler: There is a lot more people out there than you.

*are

and crime is highly locale dependent. It can also be thought of as an overdispersed poisson process.


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4 hours ago, SPARTAN VI said:

There are package thefts all the time captured on the Ring cameras in my surrounding area (San Gabriel Valley in CA). Most recently, one thief ripped open a package and left the owner's life-saving medication at owner's door step. ?

I've never freaking understood why they deliver that medicine without requiring an adult with an ID to sign for it if it's so important, and why someone isn't around the day it's being delivered to make sure they get it. that's something that should very rarely leave the hands of a human

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Package theft is why I usually have my stuff shipped to the nearest post office/pickup depot. I miss the days when if you weren't home... They'd just leave a note as to where to get your package instead of leaving it in front of your door, ripe for the taking.


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1 hour ago, TetraSky said:

Package theft is why I usually have my stuff shipped to the nearest post office/pickup depot. I miss the days when if you weren't home... They'd just leave a note as to where to get your package instead of leaving it in front of your door, ripe for the taking.

Those of us in good neighborhoods got tired of having to go pick it up.

 

I say we bring back corporal punishment for package thieves. 15 lashes in the public square, they won't touch an Amazon box again. ?

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Heh, ring sting..


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Sting Ring,Do Your Thing!


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somebody did a video on a better idea.


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Ahh, Aurora Colorado, there's your problem. Should've tried this in Aurora Illinois, where there's a metric ton of package thefts despite being in the same town as a Fulfillment Center.


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A more effective way would be to forget the camera, put a GPS tracker in the package, then track the packge to whoever has it. Even better would be to add a dye "bomb" like banks use when robbed in addition to the tracker.


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On 7/2/2019 at 10:28 PM, TetraSky said:

Package theft is why I usually have my stuff shipped to the nearest post office/pickup depot. I miss the days when if you weren't home... They'd just leave a note as to where to get your package instead of leaving it in front of your door, ripe for the taking.

Here in the UK the national postal service will leave a message and send the package to the nearest post office if nobody is home. Even Amazon will take the package back and try to deliver it on another day, I don't see why they can't do the same in the US.

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13 minutes ago, SOLO_AVENGER said:

Here in the UK the national postal service will leave a message and send the package to the nearest post office if nobody is home. Even Amazon will take the package back and try to deliver it on another day, I don't see why they can't do the same in the US.

Our national postal service does that sometimes here in Canada... But I think it mainly depends on who your local delivery person is and how much they care about doing their job properly.

But it might be because for every people who gets their package stolen, there's a lot more who are happy to get home and find their package waiting for them right there so they won't have to go pick it up elsewhere... 


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4 hours ago, Lady Fitzgerald said:

A more effective way would be to forget the camera, put a GPS tracker in the package, then track the packge to whoever has it. Even better would be to add a dye "bomb" like banks use when robbed in addition to the tracker.

Someone actually did this 

 

 


 

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10 minutes ago, Shreyas1 said:

Someone actually did this 

 

 

I saw that a while back.


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As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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On 7/2/2019 at 12:02 PM, comander said:

Spoiler: thefts are either rare or uncommon and they're overly publicized.

The closest I've had to a theft was a package being picked up by a neighbor by accident. I got it back that night. 

I even live in a pretty decent neighborhood and if something is out on the porch for more than an hour, there's decent. I would say I approach roughly 10% theft rate for things that were left at my door while I wasn't there. 


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13 minutes ago, RGProductions said:

I even live in a pretty decent neighborhood and if something is out on the porch for more than an hour, there's decent. I would say I approach roughly 10% theft rate for things that were left at my door while I wasn't there. 

Then there are people like me where package theft is rather uncommon because we're out in the sticks a bit, instead it's just the delivery drivers refuse to pull their heads out of their anus and read the damn large reflective sign on our mailbox that has our address on it.

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4 minutes ago, flibberdipper said:

Then there are people like me where package theft is rather uncommon because we're out in the sticks a bit, instead it's just the delivery drivers refuse to pull their heads out of their anus and read the damn large reflective sign on our mailbox that has our address on it.

Yeah. I live right off a pretty major road, so we attract that a bit. 


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On 7/2/2019 at 5:28 PM, TetraSky said:

Package theft is why I usually have my stuff shipped to the nearest post office/pickup depot. I miss the days when if you weren't home... They'd just leave a note as to where to get your package instead of leaving it in front of your door, ripe for the taking.

This is still an option with all 3 major package carriers (UPS, FedEX, DHL). The reason it fell out of favor is these companies began charging for the service. Many online retailers have an option for this on their site, and if they don't you can email the support line and request it. With Ebay you would have to ask the buyer to generate the label with a required signature.


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