MCSO warns of package thefts this holiday season

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s that time of year again, we tell you about it almost every year around the holidays, porch pirates! Thieves swiping packages from porches and front doors of online shoppers and it’s happening to plenty of people in our community.

It’s the season of giving, but also the season of taking.

“There was a guy, he was walking down the street and he walks on my porch, took my package,” LaTriece McCullough.

McCullough has a camera outside her home near Dewey Avenue in Rochester and caught a scrooge on Friday stealing a package of boots she ordered in a Black Friday sale.

“Then he went down my steps and he stepped on the sidewalk to adjust whatever packages he had already stolen from somewhere else,” McCullough said.

The Grinch had his face covered, but LaTriece thinks he went on some type of stealing spree after talking to a neighbor.

“She said that he’s always wearing that black coat and I guess what he does, is steal people’s things and he sells them for money,” McCullough said.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Brendan Hurley said over the last five to seven years they’ve seen an influx of package thieves.

“Typically you don’t have a person who hits one house, they’re going to hit a couple of houses. So if we get video from your house, your neighbor’s house, the house down the street, that’s going to help us because they’re all going to be different angles,” Hurley said.

He said you have a better chance of getting your valuables with these tips.

“Notify a neighbor that you’re going to have a delivery today, then either the neighbor can pick it up or you can have it delivered to the neighbor’s house is always a good idea. You can have it delivered to work as long as it’s okay with your work, it’s always a good idea to have it delivered there where you know you’re going to be,” Hurley said. “A lot of these delivery companies will let you schedule a delivery time so you can say, ‘I’ll be home at 5:00, 5:30, whatever time you get home, and they’ll deliver it then for you.”

With the holiday season in full swing, the more protection you have in place, the better.

“People are expecting and they’re ordering things for their kids for Christmas and things for their loved ones,” McCullough said. “To have someone come on your property and just take your stuff, things that you worked hard for and paid for, that’s not cool at all.”

McCullough said she didn’t end up contacting the police, but said from now on she will get her packages sent to a safe location.

Deputy Hurley said if your package is stolen you should call 911 or your local police department, so they can track down who stole it and hopefully find your package.