Porch pirates are on the rise as the holiday season rolls around

Posted at 12:09 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 13:09:02-05

KILLEEN, TX — Monday, we showed you how to safely shop while looking for gifts online but what happens when you do everything right and a porch pirate comes by and snags your packages?

Jennifer McCann owns a quaint mail service in Harker Heights and for the past 21 years in business, she’s heard a common worry from her customers: Mail theft.

“We’ll hold it for a few days if needed,” McCann said, “So [they] won’t feel like they need to rush home from work to grab their package from their porch.”

It’s a crime officials take seriously since a 2019 bill Governor Abbott passed that charges porch pirates thousands in fines and possible jail or prison time if convicted.

“We’re going to have our officers out making sure that we’re watching for that, and that our citizens are watching for that,” Lawrence Stewart, the public information officer for the Harker Heights Police Department said. “We’re gonna take the opportunity to arrest you.”

But there are ways we can catch the thieves including utilizing an at-home security system.

You know it's working when you get notifications when your camera detects abnormal activity and it could be the only way to catch the criminal.

“We’re all super busy these days and we’re all running and doing things,” Josh Wallace at InHouse Systems in Temple said. “I mean it's just crazy right now. So, having a peace of mind at home, about home is important.”

But if you don’t have a Ring doorbell or security cameras, there are other ways to make sure your deliveries are safe.

“The best thing to do is if you know you ordered a package, to be on the lookout for that package,” Stewart said.

Or you can seek out a third party to help keep your mail secure like Eagle Express.

“We keep everything safe here,” McCann explained. “We call the customers directly so they know they have a package here and they get the notification instantly.”

Experts say the easiest way to stay safe this holiday season is to be vigilant with packages and invest in a security system or video doorbell.