Package thieves sneaking around Covington received a shock when they found out the mail they stole were set up by multiple law enforcement agencies.
The City of Covington and the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) released a statement about how a team-effort led to multiple arrests last week. KCSO, Covington and the United States Postal Inspector Service (USPIS) completed a mail theft emphasis operation on Friday, Aug. 23. The operation included the multi-billion dollar business Amazon, which provided fake packages to tempt thieves.
“The operation involved placing bait packages on residential front porches and then arresting people who unlawfully removed the packages,” a press release posted on the city of Covington’s Facebook page. “The city of Covington was selected for the operation because of the number of complaints made to the USPIS by residents. Specific neighborhoods with higher rates of reported theft were targeted.”
KCSO and the Covington police made multiple arrests, and felony charges were referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office against the individuals. One of the bait packages included a Vive virtual reality headset, valued over $1,300.
The city encouraged residents to continue to report thefts and other crimes to help gain the attention of local and national law enforcement agencies.
“Operations like this, and others occurring in Covington, are only possible because we are able to work with the community to identify problems and come up with innovative long term solutions,” the city press release stated. “Reports do matter because we can’t address problems unless we are made aware of them!”
For information specifically about reporting and preventing mail theft, visit the USPIS website, www.uspis.gov/tips-prevention/mail-theft. To report other “not-in-progress crimes” in Covington, call the King County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at 206-296-3311 or report online at www.reporttosheriff.org.