ALOHA, Ore. – Deputies arrested a man who took an Amazon box with a GPS device hidden inside it off of a porch in Washington County.
Perez Johnson, 29, of Portland, told deputies he delivers for Amazon and was dropping off another shipment at the house when he picked up the GPS “bait package.”
Police pulled him over at about 6:40 p.m. Sunday evening on SW 170th Avenue in Aloha.
According to a report filed with the sheriff’s office, Johnson admitted to taking bait package, claiming he did it because Amazon has an incentive program that pays drivers $5 for each undelivered package they return.
Deputies said that they found 18 other Amazon packages inside his vehicle. They delivered the rest of the packages.
Johnson was booked into the Washington County Jail on a second-degree theft charge. He has since been released and is expected to appear in court on Thursday, December 20.
Court records show Johnson has no prior criminal history.
"This behavior is unacceptable and does not reflect the high standards we have for delivery partners," Amazon said in a statement. "This individual is no longer delivering Amazon packages, and we will work with customers directly to make things right."
The company said their delivery partners are independent contractors and are required to go through a background check and a check of their driving record. Amazon said Johnson passed his background check and delivered packages for less than a month.
The company said it is working with police as they investigate.
The sheriff's office put sensors inside of shipping boxes and leave them on local porches. If the packages are picked up, they use GPS, cell phone signal and a radio frequency transmitter to track them down.
They say that package theft has worked as a deterrent, as reports of package thefts went down after they started the program last year.