Teen helps catch porch pirate with tracking device

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 3:10 AM CST
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PROVO, Utah (KSTU) - A 14-year-old boy in Utah turned the tables on a porch pirate after his father spotted people snagging packages off the family’s porch with his doorbell camera.

After two packages were stolen from Justin Bankhead’s porch in just one week, he decided to offer a $500 reward to anyone who could find the thief.

“You get these guys, even on your Ring doorbell video, and if they are covering their face, how do you find them?” Justin Bankhead said. “It’s not just the stuff that disappears. It’s the feeling that I don’t dare order stuff for my front porch. Everyone has these frustrations of these guys running around neighborhoods having a free for all.”

Cody Bankhead, 14, turned the tables on a porch pirate by placing a GPS tracking device in a...
Cody Bankhead, 14, turned the tables on a porch pirate by placing a GPS tracking device in a box outside his family's home. The suspect was taken into custody.(Source: KSTU via CNN)

His 14-year-old son, Cody Bankhead, took him up on the reward offer. The teenager placed a box outside the family home with an activated GPS tracking device inside. He used an Apple AirTag, a $30 device designed to help people track their belongings via their Apple devices.

In the darkness of early Monday morning, a thief drove up to the house, raced up the stairs, and ran off with the cardboard box — unaware of the tracking device.

After realizing the box was gone, the Bankheads pulled up the tracking information, found the suspect’s car and called police. Moments later, the suspect was arrested.

“I don’t think he had any clue that he had this coming,” Justin Bankhead said.

The father made good on his promise, and Cody Bankhead got his reward money.

“Pretty happy. I felt pretty cool,” the teenager said.

For Justin Bankhead, it was a small price to pay to send a message to any would-be package thieves.

“If you’re going out there, you are going to get caught. People are smarting up,” he said.

Police advise anyone who do something like this to be safe and never put themselves in a dangerous situation.

Copyright 2021 KSTU via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.