Mentor PD launches efforts to crack down on porch hackers


MENTOR, Ohio – Holiday shopping is already in full swing as the first week of November draws to a close.

The National Retail Federation reports that online shopping has exploded, increasing by almost 50% from 2019, due to the pandemic. In fact, of the 10% more money people should spend during the holiday season, 15% of that spending should be spent on online shopping.

This increase will certainly lead to an annual increase in parcel and retail thefts, so the Mentor Police Department is launching efforts to reduce porch hackers.

“We’ve seen an increase in parcel-related theft from online shopping and things like that,” said Captain Mike Majernik. “And this year, we expect a lot more of the same with an increase in online shopping.”

The department said officers would be in unmarked cars, using surveillance equipment to keep an additional eye on delivery trucks in neighborhoods. They will also use bait packs to catch thieves. A program that the ministry launched last year and has proven to be successful.

“We have set up eight boxes in various neighborhoods with GPS trackers,” said Majernik. “So last year we actually arrested a woman who was in the neighborhood. She had flights from both Mentor and Willoughby. A neighbor called him. But we had officers in the neighborhoods working on the program and they were able to stop it, make the arrest and get the merchandise back. “

Majernik said the officers weren’t just watching the porch pirates. He said plainclothes officers would also patrol participating stores to crack down on criminal retail theft rings.

“Video games are always a hot topic, but in some clothes, high-end clothes are still popular. Electronics and that sort of thing, anything of great value is a target for these thieves,” a- he declared.

Mentor is the sixth largest retail destination in Ohio, with more than 300 retailers generating approximately $ 2 billion in sales per year.

Due to its popularity in retail, the Town of Mentor has a SCRAM network. It allows homeowners or businesses to register their security cameras with the ministry

“It doesn’t give us direct access. We just know where to look and request their video, and it has helped us solve a lot of crimes so far,” said Majernik.

Police mentor said that the best deterrent against crime is often its own residents. They therefore encourage people to watch their neighbors and neighborhood and report anything out of the ordinary.

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