Hiawatha Police Department asks for help catching porch pirates

HIAWATHA, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - The Hiawatha Police Department has a way to catch thieves stealing packages from porches, but they need some volunteers.

Police have a plan to try to catch potential burglars or at least make them think twice next time. The department posted to its Facebook page asking people to lend them their porches.

"We've experienced in the past packages being stolen from porches of residences here in Hiawatha and about a year ago we acquired some technology that allows us to use another tool to be able to possibly catch somebody that is out there stealing packages," police chief Dennis Marks said.

Marks says its the perfect time of year to do it with cyber Monday packages starting to arrive on people's doorsteps. They're using boxes that look like any other packages, even planning on printing special labels tailored to the homes.

"As soon as the package is moved we know it. As soon as it moved," Marks said.

He says its technology they have used before in bikes and electronic devices, but they haven't yet had anyone take the bait.

Marks says he isn't targeting any specific neighborhoods, just placing them all around the city.