WATCH: Suspected porch pirate steals Christmas gift, victim says

KKTV 11 News at 4 (Recurring)
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 5:18 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2022 at 6:03 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A woman who lives in Pueblo sent 11 News the above video, showing a person taking a package right off her front porch.

If you have porch pirate video, we might be able to help in the case by putting the criminal’s face out there. Click here to submit your videos.

The victim did not want to be identified, she told reporter Melissa Henry. The victim says the package was from Amazon, containing a $27 Christmas gift for her husband. She says the alleged theft happened around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“Very rarely do we get the item back to the appropriate owner,” said Wesley Wilkerson with Colorado Springs Police. “As the holidays approach, the opportunities for porch pirates to hit houses in our area increases.”

The woman who sent 11 News the above video says she also sent it to the merchant, and that company is sending her a free replacement. Not all companies do that though, says 11 News consumer expert Katie Pelton. Pelton explained there’s no legal requirement for a company to send a customer a free replacement if the customer alleges the product was stolen. She says as long as the package was delivered to the correct address, even providing video of the theft will not guarantee a free replacement.

That’s why Wilkerson suggests taking these steps to protect yourself:

  • Require a signature at delivery. This is usually an option under “delivery instructions” when placing an online order.
  • Send the package to where you’ll be during delivery hours, like your workplace.
  • Send the package to a secure location where you can pick it up later. Most carriers offer an option to have your package delivered to one of their stores or offices. Examples are UPS Stores, FedEx Stores, and your local post office. Amazon offers customers to use Amazon Hub lockers, which are located at various southern Colorado businesses.

Wilkerson says, many porch pirate crimes go unreported. “We cannot start to solve the crime if we’re not alerted to it,” he says.

Even if you don’t feel it’s worth the time to report your package stolen, he asks people to file a report anyway because many porch pirates target multiple houses in one area. If you want to do everything to make sure you or your neighbors won’t be targeted again, Wilkerson says filing a report can only help.

Wilkerson says police reports are best filed online after the theft has happened. If you are witnessing the theft take place, he says to call 911.