November 10, 2017 07:45 PM
OGDEN — 'Tis the season for holiday shopping and if you do most of your buying online, beware.
Thieves are poaching packages right off the porches of homes in a number of local towns. Residents in Gates, Brighton and Ogden have had purchases stolen. The thieves either follow delivery trucks or seize on packages left on outside.
“One time, the FedEx guy told me to cancel my cable because we were buying too much,” jokes Tim Inzinna who lives along Sunnyside Drive in Brighton.
His neighborhood has been dealing with a package poacher lately and he’s planning to put up cameras just to be safe. "Usually somebody is here, they ring the door bell and we try to bring it right in,” he says. Georgette Ciccarello lives along Jorpark Circle in Ogden, that area has also been hit by package thieves. "There's an awful lot of theft and it's a bad time, especially around Christmas time,” she tells News10NBC.
We’ve seen it time and time again, thieves helping themselves to deliveries. This time last year, a homeowner in Rochester caught a thief on a home surveillance camera walking up onto his porch in broad daylight to steal an Amazon Kindle. The video shows the suspect shove the box into a garbage bag and then peddle away on a bike.
“A lot of it is opportunity theft but we have heard of rings of people doing this as an organized activity,” says Ogden Police Chief Chris Mears. Most of the stolen merchandise is then liquidated. “Some of the stuff we have seen still in the box on e-bay and on Craig's list,” Chief Mears adds.
The best is advice to avoid losing packages is to have them delivered to your work or a trusted neighbor who you know will be home. If those aren’t options, require the delivery company get a signature for drop-off or use one of their secured drop locations. Police also say if you come across a porch poacher, don’t confront her or him. "Call 911, if you see someone in your neighborhood that looks like they might be casing a delivery truck or following behind one, or somebody going up to your neighbor’s house and taking a package... you know that's not right, just give us a call,” Chief Mears says.
And it may not just be actual packages the thieves are after: “Somebody who mailed a check through the postal service but placed the check in their mailbox to mail out and put the flag up for pick-up that day…the mail was stolen. The check was stolen, forged and cashed,” Chief Mears says. So, as you prepare to spread some holiday cheer make sure you physically take your cards, gift cards or gifts directly to the post office or a blue box to mail.
Updated: November 10, 2017 07:45 PM
Created: November 10, 2017 06:58 PM
Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company