Deputies use bait-and-Grinch to nab package thief
Irony alert: Among the Christmas-present packages allegedly stolen in Aloha over the weekend were several featuring images of The Grinch.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office had set up a "bait package" in Aloha over the weekend; a package with a GPS transmitter that deputies hoped would lure a package thief. It worked.
At around 6:40 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, deputies responded to an alarm activation from a bait package at a residence near Tualatin Valley Highway and Southwest 170th Avenue in Aloha. Deputies say the tracker within the stolen package led to a black 2015 Nissan Altima driven by Perez Johnson, 29, of Portland.
Deputies say Johnson admitted to stealing the bait package from a porch. He allegedly disclosed that he delivers for Amazon and had stolen the bait package while he was delivering another shipment to the same address.
Deputies say they located a total of 18 Amazon packages inside the suspect's vehicle that were awaiting delivery.
Johnson was arrested for second-degree theft and booked at the Washington County Jail.
Deputies personally delivered the remaining packages that had been found inside the suspect's vehicle to their addresses to avoid any delay in receipt.
Detectives from the Property Crimes Unit have deployed numerous bait packages throughout Washington County to deter potential thieves and catch those who steal during the season of giving. This is the program's four year of deployment.
Last season, deputies arrested three individuals during two bait package activations that occurred on Dec. 7 and Dec. 18, 2017.