Porch Pirates are taking on the role of the Grinch this holiday season

The USPS delivered 13 billion pacakages and pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and New Years last year
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 4:30 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Online shopping is ramping up. Which means more packages being delivered. According to the U.S. Postal Service, more than 13.2 billion pieces of mail and packages were delivered between thanksgiving and new years eve in 2021.

However, more packages mean more opportunities for Porch Pirates.

The Wausau Police Department shared some tips on how to avoid falling victim this holiday season. Officer Garrett Carr, Community Resource Officer, Wausau Police Department, says stealing packages is a crime of opportunity, ”It’s just sitting there and nobody appears to be home and people are just grabbing them off the steps.”

The task of tracking the thief down can be difficult especially if there is no video footage. “Unfortunately, then it’s pretty difficult unless it’s caught by a neighbor or something like that to really track down who took that package,” said Carr. He says if a video is submitted to police, usually from a ring doorbell camera, they often find the culprit within days and sometimes even hours.

He adds that the punishment depends on the value of what’s in the box. “There’s no telling what’s in that package, whether it’s a five-dollar toy that you have getting delivered for family or a friend... or a couple thousand-dollar piece of equipment,” said Officer Carr.

Fines and jail time vary depending on the value of the package. If the package is valued under $2,500 it’s a misdemeanor, anything over that is a felony with varying levels.

There are things you can do to deter porch pirates, such as finding ways to scare the thief in action at night. “Light’s on or motion censors that if something does come in proximity it turns that light on. I know that’s a big deterrent,” said Carr.

Officer Carr said regardless of how expensive your package is stealing is still a crime and you should report it to the police.

To report a stolen package, you can contact the Wausau Police Department here.