Porch pirates step up their game ‘hauling’ away stolen goods

Click to play video: 'Porch pirates caught in the act of hauling off stolen goods'
Porch pirates caught in the act of hauling off stolen goods
WATCH: An Alberta woman is warning others after so-called porch pirates stole her package off her step and then took off in a U-Haul truck. Tomasia DaSilva reports on the brazen act. – Dec 7, 2022

Porch pirates have stepped up their game in Calgary and surrounding area with one doorbell camera video showing a thief using a U-Haul truck to haul off with the stolen goods.

Tammy Johnson sent Global News the video, captured Wednesday morning at her home in Chestermere. It shows a man walking up to her front step, grabbing an Amazon package and then scurrying off.

But Johnson said what the video showed next, really surprised her.

“Very clearly you can see that this person jumps into a U-Haul truck and just drives away,” she said. “Clearly this is a very well thought out operation, well executed operation. They rented a truck and they’re out to pick up lots of other gifts along their way.”

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Tammy Johnson shows Global News the video of porch pirates making off with her package. Global News

Package thefts off of doorsteps are certainly not uncommon crimes — certainly not during the holidays. A surge in ecommerce sales has lead to a surge in criminals taking advantage.

But the “porch pirate” crime is one that’s new to Chestermere RCMP. Police told Global News Johnson’s report was actually the first one it has ever received.

Click to play video: 'Video shows thieves taking package off porch, leaving in U-Haul van'
Video shows thieves taking package off porch, leaving in U-Haul van

We also reached out to the Calgary Police Service, which told us it is a tough one to get statistics on.

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U-Haul also does not have statistics on how often its trucks have been used in these types of crimes. A statement from U-Haul International reiterated that rentals are for legal, moving purposes — not crimes.

“U-Haul employs a robust investigations unit that works closely with law enforcement to ensure individuals engaged in criminal acts involving U-Haul equipment are captured and prosecuted.”

Johnson hopes the thief will be caught before he strikes again. She’s also rethinking ordering anything online again and having it delivered to the house.

As for what exactly was inside the stolen package, she has no idea. All she knows is that it was valued at about $100 and contained her Christmas gifts from her husband.

Still, she’s happy it wasn’t her kids’ gifts, adding she’s not about to let the thieves steal her Christmas spirit.

“I’m just so grateful that it wasn’t something that couldn’t be replaced.”

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