Posted on December 02, 2021
As if supply chain shortages weren’t enough to keep up with this holiday season, now there’s another problem: porch pirates.
Porch pirates are people who steal packages delivered to their homes. Some circulate in the neighborhoods in search of packages left in front of the doors. Others are spinning FedEx or UPS trucks, waiting for packages to be delivered. Once the delivery truck is gone, they rush over, pick up the package, and drive away.
“This will not be tolerated in Tarrant County,” said Sharen Wilson, the Tarrant County Criminal District attorney. “We are going to prosecute these thieves who try to cash by stealing people’s packages. “
This crime is of concern as online shopping continues to be increasingly popular with consumers. This way of shopping has grown in popularity over the years and has swelled during the COVID pandemic, when people have stayed at home to try and slow the spread of the virus. The porch pirates took the opportunity to recover packages delivered but not recovered.
This offense is considered to be theft of mail. If the theft involves packages from less than 10 different addresses, it is a Class A felony punishable by one year in prison and a fine of $ 4,000. In Tarrant County, there have been 69 such cases in 2020 and 51 through October 2021.
As online shopping gears up for the holidays, take precautions:
- Track your package to always know where it is.
- Consider shipping your packages to work – or to a friend or relative who will be home and can pick them up when they are delivered. In-store pickups and Amazon lockers are other options.
- Install security cameras or burglar alarms in your home.
- Schedule your packages to arrive when you are home.
If you are a victim: File a complaint with the merchant and the sender. If you have evidence of the theft – especially if you have video footage – contact your local police department.
Check out more tips in this video.
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