Police warn of package theft during holiday season

Jason Brown, a resident, said he's seen multiple friends who live north of downtown post on Facebook about their packages being stolen.

Posted: Dec. 5, 2018 7:24 PM
Updated: Dec. 6, 2018 6:28 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Police in Fort Wayne are once again warning against package thieves known as, "porch pirates."

They come in when you're not home and take packages that may have been delivered. 

Jason Brown, a resident, said he's seen multiple friends who live north of downtown post on Facebook about their packages being stolen. 

That's why Brown avoids online shopping. 

"I don't prefer to do online shopping. I'd rather go to the store, but my wife will order some things," Brown said. 

Officer Mike Joyner with the Fort Wayne Police Department said there's steps you can take if your package comes when you may not be home.

"Common sense. If you know you're going to get something shipped to you, make sure you're there. If you're not going to be there, leave it at the terminal," Joyner said. 

Joyner said theft happens year round, with 75 packages reported stolen. Since the beginning of November, there have been 11 reports. That's up from five this time last year. 

"Like any crime, it's a crime of opportunity. If you open yourself to being a victim, someone is going to take an opportunity and run with it," he said. 

Joyner has a doorbell with a security camera on it, a step many residents have taken to catch thieves in the act. 

"The steps that you take to help harden the target or deter this type of theft is well worth it," he said. 

On top of being illegal, Brown said theft takes the fun out of gift giving. 

"People work hard for their money and online shopping is a lot less expensive than going out to stores. And it's sad when people feel they have the right to take something that's not theirs," he said. 

If you do catch someone stealing a package, they'll be charged with theft. Depending on the value, it could be a felony. 

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