PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An Amazon delivery driver was arrested Sunday night after authorities said he stole a bait package from an Aloha home.
Once the package was taken, an alarm activated — prompting deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to respond to the residence near Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway and 170th Avenue.
Using GPS technology, deputies tracked the package to a black 2015 Nissan Altima in the area.
According to authorities, the driver admitted to stealing the package from the porch while delivering another shipment to the same address. Deputies found a total of 18 Amazon packages inside the suspect’s car that were awaiting delivery.
Perez Johnson, 29, of Portland was arrested for 2nd-degree theft and booked into the Washington County Jail. Johnson has since been released from the county jail and is expected in court on December 20.
Deputies took the packages from Johnson’s car and personally delivered them to make sure they wouldn’t arrive late.
Authorities said they have deployed numerous bait packages throughout Washington County to deter potential thieves — and catch those who steal.
‘Behavior is unacceptable’
In a statement to KOIN 6 News, an Amazon spokesperson said, “This behavior is unacceptable and does not reflect the high standards we have for delivery partners. This individual is no longer delivering Amazon packages, and we will work with customers directly to make things right.”
The spokesperson also said that Amazon Flex deliverers are vetted with a comprehensive background check that covers multiple states plus a review of their driving records.
Johnson passed his background check and had been delivering Amazon packages for less than a month, the spokesperson said.
The company is working with the police as the investigation unfolds.
How to guard against Porch Pirates
A contribution from the non-profit Sheriff’s Office Foundation of Washington County, the sheriff’s office is doubling the number of bait packages they set this year.
“The whole idea of it is you never know which package you may decide to steal may be the one that has a tracking device,” said Sgt. Bob Ray. “We will come and arrest you and bring you to jail.”
They also provided these tips to guard against porch pirates:
· Have packages delivered when you’re going to be home, to a service like Amazon locker, or talk to a neighbor who will be home.
· If packages MUST be delivered when you’re not home, leave shipping instructions to have it dropped somewhere on your property that is not visible from the street.
· Leave your porch lights on.
· Install cameras (i.e. Ring, tech has greatly improved over the years while costs have gone down).
· If you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood, report it.