Porch pirates caught on camera in Palm Springs. Several videos sent to us from the Neighbors app, show several thieves swiping packages from front doors. The thieves are brazen, they don’t seem to mind the cameras or broad daylight, they’re willing to risk getting caught to get their hands on what’s inside the boxes.
Sergeant Mike Casavan, with the Palm Springs Police Department, says package theft is up and widespread this time of year, “With the holiday season we do get a lot of these crimes, you know people are getting packages delivered to their door especially this year much more than last year when people are shopping from home.”
On “Cyber Monday” alone shoppers spent nearly $11 billion online, an all time record.
Research shows 1.7 million packages are stolen every year, resulting in over $25 million in losses. One in three Americans have had one or more package stolen this year, but the numbers don’t show the pain and frustration caused by this crime.
“Aww your heart just drops … it’s just disappointing it’s sad, you know especially now with the pandemic, we want to share as much as we can with gifts,” Jenn Wood, who lives in Palm Springs, adding that her packages used to disappear around the holidays.
Palm Springs resident, Lucy Tallarita says it just happened to her, “I looked for it yesterday in the mailbox and it wasn’t there and it shows it was tracked and delivered,” adding that the package that vanished was a special gift she bought for her daughter with the little she had, “Well, I feel like crying now because I‘m not working and you feel violated … I’m angry.”
But there is something you can do to make sure you get all your packages.
The U.S. Postal Service says don’t leave your packages unattended, give specific delivery instructions, like leave it with a neighbor, request a hold, or pick up location and all that can be done online with a tracking number.
Also, some of the large online stores have lockers where your packages can be delivered safely.
Wood says she solved her problem with a P.O. Box, ” I get all my packages now.”
Casavan says posting videos online and sending them to police are good ideas, but it’s important that the victim files a police report because only then can they take action and investigate. Also those reports are useful because if they spot a pattern they can tailor their patrols to stop the crimes.
Casavan says if you catch someone in the act just call 911, “The best thing to do if you’re home is don’t interfere, these are packages that will ultimately be replaced.”