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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Porch pirates may be elusive, and so may the statistics of how many such thefts occur

When Ernesto Cortez’s wife went to the couple’s whiter porch earlier this month to pick up an Amazon package containing Christmas gifts, she found an open box filled with boxed food and leftover jack in the trash.

From work, Cortez checks out her Ring-doorbell video:

A silver Kia Optima pulls into their driveway, a masked woman walks out and swaps boxes.

“We work so hard to buy what we can, and for people to take advantage of other people for their hard work,” said Cortez, who works for the Southern California Gas Company. Is.” “My wife is suffering from this.”

He told his neighbors what happened and plans to eventually file a report with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“I know (law enforcement is) busy,” he said. “I know these people have bigger and better things to do, but I wanted them to try and make the community aware.”

It is not clear whether the number of porch-pirate thefts this holiday season is increasing or decreasing compared to last year.

Some agencies don’t specifically keep track of reported package thefts – the incidents are turned into residential thefts. And some police officers say there seem to be a plethora of stolen packages they’ve never heard of — until they scanned social media.

In Riverside, there were 46 such thefts from September 1 to December 1 last year and 31 such thefts during the same period in 2021, said Officer Ryan Relsback, a Riverside Police spokesman. But based on the number of home-monitoring videos viewed on Ring, NextDoor and Facebook, the official isn’t sure that’s down.

“(A victim) may think it’s a $10 or $20 dollar package, so it’s not worth reporting,” Railsback said. “We want people to know why to report it – because we want to get a better picture of the problem with those data.”

Railsback had a package with energy-drink powders taken from his front door on Thanksgiving Day last year.

“While we were gone, someone pulled over and walked over and grabbed him and took it,” said Railsback. “I reported it online because I know the importance of reporting it.”

Anaheim Sergeant Shane Carringer also figures several porch-pirate crimes, probably because people have “fatigue” for the crime.

“I’m always seeing these posts on NextDoor and Facebook about packages being stolen, but where are the police reports?” Carringer said. “There is a lot of frustration with some sort of criminalization of this (property offences).”

In 2014, voters passed Proposition 47, changing the offenses of petty theft — for stolen property of less than $950 value — from felony to misdemeanor.

Even if the thieves are caught, it does not mean that the goods will end up where they should be.

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“When people steal these packages, the first thing they do is open the package and take away the stolen item,” Carringer said. “If we have a (suspected) car full of stolen goods, it may be impossible to determine to whom the goods belong.”

Lt. Michelle Mahan of the San Bernardino Police Department said the agency has always seen social-media incidents that didn’t make it into police reports.

“Sometimes, people don’t think the value of a stolen item is worth their time to make a police report,” she said.

“Others are not necessarily looking for prosecution, but they want their money back, so if they are able to get their money back through their bank or credit-card company, they are satisfied,” said the lieutenant. .

Temescal Valley’s Bridgette Schauwecker had an Amazon package stolen from the front porch of her secluded home during the day in late November. The real estate agent’s home-security camera caught a woman walking toward the house and holding a large brown box before turning away.

Five Showacker neighbors suffered a similar fate.

“You feel very violated,” Showaker said. “Like what else can I do? It’s the fear of what else these people are capable of.”

He reported the theft to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

To thwart such thieves, the Showacker family will now use Amazon’s in-garage delivery service, a free option for Amazon Prime members to deliver packages inside a garage with a Wi-Fi enabled garage-door opener that Amazon Allows delivery associates with remote-key-access inside.

Cortez, a Whittier resident, is considering giving packages to Amazon lockers that are in stores and fast-food restaurants instead of on her porch.

Carringer recommends coordinating with neighbors if packages will be delivered when you’re not at home, and investing in a home-video surveillance system that’s properly located.

“With video-surveillance systems so cheap these days, it’s good for everyone to have evidence that will be useful in a prosecution,” Carringer said. “Make sure it’s positioned properly, though, so you’re not grabbing the top of someone’s forehead.”

Using reports of porch thefts in Anaheim, police select neighborhoods to impose fake deliveries – a tactic the department started a few years ago. A package equipped with a GPS tracking device is placed at the door. When someone picks up the bait, the GPS system “wakes up” and the patrol units are alerted.

On Thursday, an old-fashioned vigil helped nab two suspected porch pirates who were arrested in the Anaheim Hills after a victim grabbed a vehicle’s details.

Hours later, Anaheim police said they found Honda Passports in the area of ​​Lakeview and Orangethorpe Avenues, where two 17-year-old boys were found in possession of 15 packages belonging to five victims.

In this case the package returned it to the rightful owners, police said.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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