Here there be (porch) pirates

Matthew Lane • Dec 15, 2019 at 8:58 AM

KINGSPORT — You need to keep in mind that during the holiday season, “porch pirates” — thieves who steal packages from your front porch — are out roaming the streets more frequently. They see a package, from Amazon for example, sitting on your front porch and they quickly come up, grab it and dart off.

The Kingsport Police Department says the best way to prevent this from happening is to avoid leaving unattended packages outside your residence, especially for extended periods of time. This advice comes in light of a theft from a home on Packing House Road.

Police on Friday were asking for help in identifying a woman who brazenly stole two packages from the residence’s front porch. The theft took place around 4 p.m. on Wednesday and her image was captured on home video surveillance.

According to a press release from the KPD, when the woman arrived at the home, she was a passenger in what appeared to be a burgundy Ford Taurus four-door sedan. She first knocked on the door, but when no one answered, she took the packages and fled the scene.

Anyone who recognizes her is asked to contact detectives in the KPD Criminal Investigations Division at (423) 229-9429 or to call Kingsport Central Dispatch at (423) 246-9111.

The KPD suggests you consider installing home video surveillance cameras that monitor the drop-off location for packages and prominently display signs announcing the cameras’ presence. While cameras are not guaranteed to prevent this type crime from happening, they greatly increase the chances of identifying the culprit.

Remember, if you’re not going to be home at the time your package is scheduled to be delivered, consider having it shipped to a different and more secure location, such as your place of work or the residence of a trusted friend or family member who will be home at that time.

Other options include shopping locally rather than online when possible, having the package held by the delivery service for you to pick up at their distribution center at your convenience, or utilizing other secure delivery services such as Amazon Locker.

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