Be vigilant of porch pirates

Published 5:23 am Tuesday, December 17, 2019

We’re just a few short days away from Christmas and no doubt more than a few of you are still trying to wrap up some last minute shopping.

It’s kind of a tradition within itself and for those who are in the business of delivering our packages, thank you for working the hours you are in order to get our orders to us during this busy time as quickly as possible.

However, with this late shopping surge, more packages will be left alone on doorsteps, unattended and making them easy targets for those devoid of any kind of Christmas spirit.

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Every year, freeloaders walk city sidewalks across the United States looking for the opportunity to not only trespass, but to steal off of doorsteps.

Some of these thieves are also coming with a certain level of arrogance, as demonstrated by a case in St. Paul this past Friday. According to Minnesota Public Radio, one such Grinch left this note behind after thieving a package: “So just a quick little thank you for leaving me the opportunity of stealing your package very nice of you Thank you.” Not only is punctuation a distant idea for this thief, but insult was added to injury when it was signed “The new owner of your package.”

We would like to take this opportunity to wish St. Paul Police the best of luck in catching this person. It’s not enough to cast a shadow on someone’s holiday, but they have to prove themselves the worst kind of person by bragging about it.

But mostly we want to take this opportunity to urge people to track their packages and know when they might be delivered so they can take possession of them as fast as possible. And if you see a neighbor with packages on their doorstep, do what you can to keep an eye on them.

Austin Police Department Chief David McKichan suggests that people think about getting some sort of surveillance that can monitor the front doors where packages are left. During a case earlier this year, a string of thefts from front doors was in part solved thanks to these security systems that have become easier to install and have come down in price.

“The big piece for us was the expanded use of home surveillance systems,” McKichan said. “If you are having packages delivered to the home, having some sort of security system … that can go a long way toward deterence, but also there is the peace of mind to see that packages got delivered.”

McKichan also suggests that if you can’t be home when packages are delivered, then arrange to have them delivered to or picked up by people you trust. Another option, if possible, is to perhaps line up a delivery at the place of business you may work.

While a report to police can help with reimbursement from the places you ordered from, finding the culprit can be challenging if there is no proof of the theft other than the package being gone.

This is a time that should be filled with happiness and not by sharks that have little better to do with their time than ruin other people’s holidays.