Kingsville police officers say "Porch Pirates” are targeting mail home deliveries in the community in the wake of people ordering online. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kingsville Police Chief Ricardo Torres posted a statement about the increase of thefts Tuesday afternoon.
Chief Torres provided several tips on how to curb the crime trend:
- Reach out to neighbors: Ask neighbors or family members to pick up your parcels as soon as possible after they are delivered.
- Track your packages and request a specific drop-off time when you will be at home: Most delivery services allow you to follow the delivery of your package and many also allow you to pick a delivery window for when you will be home. If possible, try to be at home at the time of your delivery.
- Require a signature for delivery: Requiring a signature for delivery means that packages can't be left at your front door where they are prime bait for porch thieves.
- Hold your mail if you are traveling: The U.S. Postal Service offers services to hold your mail if you are taking a trip over the holidays.
- Have your packages delivered to work or the home of someone who can accept them: If you know you aren't going to be home during the day, try having your orders delivered to your work or with a trusted friend, relative or neighbor.
- Keep your porch well-lit: A well-lit porch may help your neighbors better be able to keep an eye out for thieves.
- Choose in-store pickup option: Many retailers offer the option of in-store pickup and many e-commerce retailers have local "locker" options you can choose to have your packages delivered to.
- Mount a visible security camera: Doorbell cameras and other home security cameras can be a good way to deter package thieves. If you enable Wi-Fi on your camera you can also keep an eye on your porch from afar and notify police if you spot anything shady. Mounting them in visible places may also help deter potential thieves.
Chief Torres stated, “Several times during the last few years homeowners have been able to share (the) video of suspects while they are still at a residence assisting our department in capturing suspects involved in these crimes. If you are able to forward a video file that has information that you believe is related to a crime please send the video file to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Detectives said if the crime is happening in "real-time" to please call 9-1-1 to report the crime so the suspects could be captured immediately.