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Tarrant County DA’s Office Has No Tolerance For ‘Porcelain Pirates’ – CBS Dallas/Fort Worth


FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Online shoppers, be wary.

It’s important to know when packages are scheduled to arrive and to try to stay home to pick them up when they arrive.

As if supply chain shortages weren’t enough to deal with this holiday season, “pirates” are something homeowners need to be on the lookout for.

Patio pirates are people who steal packages that are delivered to homes.

The Porch Pirate (credit: Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office)

Some drive around neighborhoods looking for packages left on their doorsteps. Others tailed FedEx or UPS trucks, waiting for packages to arrive.

After the delivery van drove off, they swooped in, picked up the package, and drove off.

“This will not be tolerated in Tarrant County,” said Sharen Wilson, Tarrant County Criminal Attorney. “We will prosecute these thieves who are trying to make money by stealing people’s packages.”

This crime is a concern as online shopping continues to grow in popularity with consumers.

This way of shopping has been popular for years and flared up during the COVID pandemic, as people stayed home to try to slow the spread of the virus.

The Porch Pirates took advantage of that, picking up packages that were delivered but not returned.

The Porch Pirate (credit: Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office)

This crime is considered letter theft. If the theft involves packages from less than 10 different addresses, it’s a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine.

In Tarrant County, there are 69 of these cases in 2020 and 51 through October 2021, the DA’s Office said.

As people shop more online during the holidays, the Tarrant County Criminal DA’s Office recommends taking the following precautions:

Track your package so you always know where it is.

Consider shipping your packages to work – or to a friend or loved one, who will be home and be able to pick them up when they’re delivered. In-store pickup and Amazon lockers are other options.

Install security cameras or burglar alarms in your home.

Schedule your packages to arrive when you’re at home.

If you are a victim: File a complaint with the seller and the shipper. If you have any evidence of a burglary – especially if you have video footage – contact your local police department.

Click here to watch a video on this topic.

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