Porch pirates continue creeping around doorsteps as couriers find ways to stop them

Click to play video: 'Videos show packages being stolen off 2 separate Calgary porches'
Videos show packages being stolen off 2 separate Calgary porches
WATCH: Videos supplied to Global News show two separate incidents of packages being stolen off Calgary porches. – Dec 13, 2019

With the Christmas season here, there’s an exponential number of packages being delivered to doorsteps. But that also means porch pirates are increasingly on the hunt for your deliveries.

Hung Hua thought ordering online was a more convenient way of shopping, but the Corus Entertainment employee found himself an unsuspecting victim.

“It was not more than 15 minutes after FedEx guy dropped off the package,” Hua said.

Click to play video: 'Porch pirates continue creeping around doorsteps as couriers find ways to stop them'
Porch pirates continue creeping around doorsteps as couriers find ways to stop them

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He watched helplessly on his doorbell camera as a stranger walked up to the porch. One of the packages was obviously too heavy to take away, so instead, the thief settled for the smaller one. The package contained gifts he ordered for his nieces.

“I’m rarely given the option ordering from the merchants, it’s usually delivered to my house,” Hua said. “I have got suggestions to deliver to Canada Post but, for us, it’s not an easy trek to go get it.”

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FedEx has partnered with Staples Canada offering an option allowing people to have packages redirected to their nearest location and stored for safekeeping until the customer can pick it up.

James Anderson, the courier delivery giant’s communication specialist said its drivers are more vigilant than ever before.

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“I’m not going to share the tricks of our trade, but our couriers aren’t going to paint a big flag for the porch pirate to say, ‘Come here — take me.’ Our couriers do the best to exercise discretion,” Anderson said.

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Some drivers do what they can to make sure it’s not spotted from the street. Skyler Edgar praised the courier who discreetly tucked the package behind a shovel.

Amazon package hidden behind a shovel. Courtesy: Skyler Edgar

But that’s not always the case. Unfortunately for Craig Pinhorn, his delivery was dropped off in a way that almost seemed like an invitation to porch pirates.

His doorbell camera captured the culprit an hour later. Someone driving by saw it and swiped it. Pinhorn said the audio on his surveillance video captured the thief using his manners.

“I can’t believe he said, ‘Thank you,’ as he stole the package. I would love to meet up with him to tell him, ‘You’re welcome,'” Pinhorn laughed.

Calgary police encourage victims to report package thefts because it allows them the track trends in certain neighbourhoods and officers could step up patrols when necessary.

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RCMP in Prince George are taking matters into their own hands, cracking down on porch pirates. It’s the only detachment in the country to partner with Amazon.

Bait packages. Courtesy: Prince George RCMP

They are using bait packages with GPS trackers inside. The strategy has already led them to one thief, resulting in an arrest. Officers said they hope it compels more authorities to launch the same initiative.


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