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‘Porch Pirates’ Trend Slightly Down At Start of Holiday Season, But Pasadena Police Urge Caution

Published on Friday, November 25, 2022 | 5:38 am

With the amount of holiday shopping expected to take place online this holiday season, Pasadena police are cautioning residents to be wary of opportunistic ‘porch pirates, thieves who steal packages from the porches and front steps of homes.

Pasadena police said porch thefts occur frequently throughout the year and fluctuate month to month. In August, police recorded 19 reports of package thefts in the city, the highest this year so far.

“In November, we have had about six thefts [reported], which is slightly lower than this time last year,” Lt. Scott Vandergrift, of the Pasadena Police Department’s Major Crimes Section, said. 

“We haven’t had any significant crimes following thefts or incidents that have escalated to a violent crime thus far. The current trend is slightly down, but it is early in the holiday season.”

Some common items of note that have been stolen from porches in the past include laptop computers, jewelry and watches, Vandergrift wrote.

In 2020 and 2021, the increase in online orders increased the risk of packages being stolen on porches, but stay-at-home orders also helped minimize the risk. This year, residents may spend more time out of their homes as COVID-19 restrictions ease, increasing that risk again.

One advice the police offer if you’re going to be out on the date and time of delivery would be to authorize a trusted neighbor who is home to collect the package for you and hold onto it until you arrive home, or have the package delivered directly to the neighbor’s residence.

Another option would be to use the “Hold and PickUp” option, if it’s a USPS delivery you’re expecting. Customers can then pick up the package at their local post office.

“People using Amazon can request their items be delivered on specific days when they know they will be home. Packages can also be picked up at designated drop off locations such as Whole Foods (for Amazon orders),” Lt. Vandergrift said. 

“We would recommend buying expensive items in store or picking them up at a safe location if they are concerned about theft. As always, we recommend good lighting, video surveillance and reporting any suspicious activity to the police.”

To report stolen packages or any suspicious activity, call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4501.

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