Package thefts on the rise this holiday season


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) -- Christmas is just days away, and as more people order their gifts online and have packages delivered to their front doors, police report a higher number of those packages being stolen.

That’s because the modern day “Grinch” comes in the form of a porch pirate. You’ve probably seen several videos circulating the web showing thieves on home surveillance stealing people’s delivered packages right off their front steps.

But the nationwide crime is all too common, even right here in Little Rock.

“It does happen around here,” Sara McDaniel, a Hillcrest neighborhood resident told Channel 7.

It’s an unfortunate reminder that Little Rock isn’t exempt. McDaniel was shocked when she heard that one of her neighbors had had a package stolen from their porch Thursday evening.

Little Rock police say the uptick in package deliveries makes for a field day for thieves, but there are some steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim yourself.

Though Sara and her fiancé, Eric, haven’t personally had a package stolen from their porch, it is something that worries the young couple.

“Thankfully this hasn’t happened to me yet. I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone, anymore,” McDaniel added.

Police say more packages are stolen off victim’s front porches during the holiday season than any other time of the year. (Surprised?)

But the problem lies in tracking criminals down, according to police.

“It’s difficult, you know, because sometimes they’re coming in from out of town,” Officer Steve Moore with LRPD explained.

And get this—he says if a package is stolen from one home, chances are packages from other surrounding homes in the same neighborhood will have been stolen as well.

But for Sara and Eric, they don’t plan on having any packages stolen any time soon.

“I’d be scared if you got near here!” Sara said, addressing any possible thieves.

The couple, like many of their neighbors in Hillcrest, have surveillance cameras set up in real time, which is actually one of Moore’s safety tips you can follow to avoid becoming a theft victim yourself.

If you can help it, don’t have packages delivered at home. If you must, however, have a trusted neighbor or friend pick your items up while you’re away from home.

Your best bet, according to Moore, is to have your packages delivered at work, if possible.

You should also track your package with the shipping company, and consider insuring your purchase as well.

Moore adds that, if caught in the act of stealing a package, thieves can be charged with a misdemeanor theft—that’s for anything under $1,000 dollars. Thieves will be charged a felony theft if what they stole was over $1,000 dollars.

Depending on how many times a criminal has committed that specific crime, jail time could even be a factor.

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