Washington County deputies use bait package to catch alleged Aloha thief
ALOHA, Ore. – The Washington County Sheriff’s Office set a bait package to attract a package thief, and they arrested the man who they say stole it early Thursday morning.
Deputies wrapped a GPS tracking device inside a package and placed it at a residence near Southwest 170th Avenue and Southwest Jenkins road in Aloha.
At 2:43 a.m. Thursday, an alarm was activated for the package.
"This is one of those opportunities where we’re using technology to be proactive to not only deter theft but to catch people that do steal," said Deputy Jeff Talbot of the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
The sheriff’s office used the GPS to track the suspect and located him in a residence less than two blocks from where they say he stole the package.
"Stealing from your own neighborhood, that’s even more egregious than what we’re used to seeing," Talbot said.
Deputies asked the man to come out of the home several times, but he refused.
While deputies were writing a search warrant to enter the residence and arrest the man, the homeowner arrived and the suspect surrendered shortly after.
The sheriff’s office identified the suspect as 27-year-old Gary Medeiros. They say he lives at the residence he refused to come out of.
Investigators say Medeiros damaged the package after he stole it to try and destroy the evidence.
Medeiros was arrested on charges of mail theft, second-degree theft, tampering with physical evidence, third-degree criminal mischief, and a parole violation.
He was booked in the Washington County Jail.
Neighbors are happy to hear that local law enforcement is doing all they can to prevent package theft as the busy holiday shipping season kicks into high gear.
"I’m happy that they're being proactive about it and it’s a pretty genius idea," said Enzo Mangubat, who lives just blocks from where the arrest was made.