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As porch pirates evolve, police offer tips to protect your packages

Posted at 5:48 PM, Nov 13, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Most people love coming home and seeing a package on the front steps.

As the holiday season approaches, more and more packages will be showing up on more and more doorsteps, but that also means more and more porch pirates will be out.

"As you may know, stealing packages is a trend that is going on around the country," Capt. Luis Ortiz with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department Robbery Unit, said. "Here in Kansas City, we are not immune to it."

Now, porch pirates are getting more creative, too.

Prairie Village police posted on social media Wednesday about the search for information about a man dressed a pizza delivery guy, who approaches houses instead to steal packages.

"It tells us that they have been doing their homework and have been watching a family or a neighborhood," Ortiz said.

Based on Ring video, it is believed to be the same man is stealing packages using another tactic, in which he brings his own package and exchanges it for the one on the porch.

Police have some tips for people hoping to discourage porch piracy.

One option is a lockbox, which 41 Action News Anchor Taylor Hemness tested out last week. Unfortunately, after five tries, not one delivery driver knew what to do with it, so it wasn't very effective.

Another option is to have packages sent to a secure location.

"Talk to your employer about having your packages delivered to your place of work," Ortiz said. "Doing this little thing has proven significantly that minimizes the risk of your packages being stolen."

Ashleigh Hombs has a security system and has never had a package stolen, but she said she has advice for people who don't want to buy a camera.

"If you have an older neighbor that is home or somebody that works from home, somebody that can grab it, or make friends with your UPS driver," Hombs said.

For more tips on making sure your package is not stolen, check out these tips from the KCPD.