Kingsport police arrest brazen 'porch pirate'

Matthew Lane • Mar 5, 2020 at 9:00 AM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Police Department has identified a 43-year old homeless woman as the notorious “porch pirate” who brazenly stole two packages from the front porch of a Packing House Road residence back in December.

The “porch pirate” has been identified as Crystal Dee Line and she’s been charged with theft of property under $1,000 and possession of unlawful drug paraphernalia. Line was arrested on Tuesday following a routine traffic stop, where she was also found to be in possession of a glass pipe coated with a residue.

According to Tom Patton, public information officer for the Kingsport Police Department, the arrest comes in large part to the numerous tips the department received from the public. Line’s image was captured on home video surveillance and due to the tips, detectives were able to positively identify Line as the “porch pirate” earlier this year with a warrant issued for her arrest on January 6.

Line was transported to the Kingsport City Jail, where she remains confined in lieu of a $1,500 bond.

According to previous reports, when Line arrived at the Packing House Road home back in December, she was a passenger in what appeared to be a burgundy Ford Taurus 4-door sedan. Line first knocked on the door, but when nobody answered, she took two packages sitting by the door and fled the scene.

“Porch pirates” is slang for the thieves who steal packages from your front porches and authorities say these type of crooks go roaming the streets in greater frequency around the holiday season. 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 suggests you consider installing home video surveillance cameras that monitor the drop off location for packages, and prominently display signs announcing their 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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