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Toronto woman catches ‘porch pirates’ on camera

Click to play video: 'Toronto woman catches ‘porch pirates’ on camera' Toronto woman catches ‘porch pirates’ on camera
WATCH: Parcels can easily fall into the hands of porch pirates. Albert Delitala reports – Dec 18, 2019

A Toronto woman is warning others to be vigilant after catching thieves on camera stealing a package from her family’s porch.

The video, taken on a Nest doorbell camera on Monday in Toronto’s Upper Beaches neighbourhood, shows two people walking on the sidewalk. As one appears to remain on the lookout, the other walks toward the house and swipes an Amazon delivery off the steps.

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

“I think it’s unfortunate that people do this, especially at the holiday season,” said Kim Culica, who lives in the house with her family.

She said she was home at the time of the theft but didn’t know anything had been delivered.

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“For us, we were lucky — it was just an air conditioning cover, but for other people it could be something more meaningful,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Battling ‘porch pirates’ while online shopping' Battling ‘porch pirates’ while online shopping
Battling ‘porch pirates’ while online shopping – Dec 2, 2019

The incident happened the same say as a similar theft in Edmonton, again involving an Amazon package intercepted at the front door.

So-called “porch pirates” are common at this time of year, Toronto Police Service spokesperson Cst. Victor Kwong told Global News, as people go online for their holiday shopping.

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Contrary to what some people think, Kwong said, parcel theft is not a victimless crime.

“Are [the insurance premiums] being passed back to the customers? All these different things — someone’s got to pay for it and eventually every single one of us is a consumer at one point,” he said.

READ MORE: Woman catches struggling porch pirate and rekindles his ‘faith in humanity’

Police recommend anyone expecting a delivery while they are away should use a pickup-point service, such as the FlexDelivery option offered by Canada Post. Alternatively, they suggest asking a neighbour or friend to take the package, or have it delivered to work or somewhere considered safe.

Kwong insists anyone who has an item stolen should report it, regardless of the value.

“They might not get their item back but we might be able to stop this one person from stealing,” he said.

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Culica said she reported the theft to police online, but she plans to keep receiving deliveries at the family home for now.

“For us, we’re a really busy family, so we would prefer to be able to get our packages at home and not have to go pick them up somewhere else,” she said.

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