It's become a widespread problem so big that police have coined a name for the people who do it. They are called "porch pirates", and as the holiday season continues, they also continue to prey on your front porch and those packages UPS, FedEx, or the mailman just dropped off.

I find it hard to believe it's a problem in the friendly community of Hiawatha where I live, but police there are taking proactive steps to prevent it.

A man in Marion was recently caught and arrested for the crime, but it still hasn't deterred others. So law enforcement is using new methods to track them.

Hiawatha police chief Dennis Marks says his department has resorted to planting fake packages, equipped with GPS-style equipment, on the porches of residents who volunteer to help.

The packages look genuine and actually have addresses on them. As soon as someone steals one of these phony packages, police are notified.

If you would like to volunteer to be involved in Hiawatha's "porch stings", you are asked to call Captain Ben Kamm at (319)393-1212.


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