A Calgary family is sounding the alarm after so-called porch pirates repeatedly stole packages and mail from their home.
Thieves have hit the southwest Calgary home five times in the past six months.
“We’re frustrated,” Shabnam Vora said. “We feel violated.”
Every time it was a brazen daylight robbery and every time they were caught on video surveillance. It also appears from that surveillance video that the thief was the same person three of the five times.
The family has filed numerous police reports and turned in the video surveillance, but no arrests have been made.
Calgary police told Global News that “porch pirating” is often a crime of opportunity, but sometimes thieves do watch and wait.
“They see the UPS driver or the FedEx driver in the neighbourhood,” Sgt. Doug Crippen said. “As soon as they see that driver go up to a residence, they’ll watch them actually put it down on the step and drive away.”
“For them, it’s simply walk up, grab it and leave.”
Crippen added any kind of video footage does help in these kinds of investigations.
“We have great success when it comes down to having video,” he said. “When an offender sees that video, they see that it is no longer an opportunistic crime — they know that they’ve been caught on video.”
Global News also reached out to some online retailers and delivery companies and was told packages aren’t stolen that often, but when they are, companies work with the customer to make sure they’re either reimbursed or get a new shipment.
They also point out there are a number of ways to prevent thefts, including having the item shipped to your work, having to sign for it, or getting online notifications.
Vora says she’s tried them all with limited luck.
She tried planting shrubs, which would make her yard less accessible.
She even put out fake packages filled with dirty diapers hoping to entice the thieves.
When all those failed, she put up a sign directing deliveries to her back door which is more secure. But she added that has not always worked.
“In one of the videos, you can see the driver drop off the package in the mailbox, look at the sign on the door, and still walk off,” she said.
The family has now invested hundreds into a special parcel lockbox, which they plan to bolt down so they don’t have to go through another theft any time soon.
“I’m extremely fed up.”
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.