Fending off ‘Porch Pirates’ | SPPD Gives Tips on Preventing Package Thievery

South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Ortiz says the act of someone stealing a package off a front porch is a growing concern not only in the city his department protects, but throughout the San Gabriel Valley

SouthPasadenan.com News | A rise in package theft has risen in South Pasadena, SPPD officials warn

A real-life Grinch has the ability to make a person’s Christmas not so bright, so local authorities like South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Ortiz have a few tips on how not to avoid being a porch pirate victim.

Those who steal packages off front porches during the holiday season are “very tactical in their approach,” said Ortiz, “and they know that most folks have purchased some type of surveillance system, to the point of wearing scarves over their faces, hats, hoodies to do whatever they can to disguise themselves.”

So smart are these thieves, explained the police chief, “that they know what the follow up police are doing to try to catch them, but we’re having pretty good success in finding these folks,” said Ortiz. “Our residents call us. They’re going back to the ‘see something, say something’ method and we catch them after they’ve stolen something from the porch.”

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PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | South Pasadena Police Department Chief Joe Ortiz

Ortiz says the South Pasadena Police Department uses specialized devices, some he’d like to keep private as a means to not tip off those doing the wrongdoing.

“I don’t want to elaborate anymore on the device, but rest assured through our robust Neighborhood Watch Program, it’s helping us when a porch pirate strikes,” he said.

The following are ways to void a parcel package theft from the South Pasadena Police Department:

  • Always obtain a tracking number so you can track it’s progress through the carrier’s website.
  • If your employer allows it, consider having packages delivered to your work.
  • If you have a video doorbell, be aware of activations so you can physically see where the packaged is being placed.
  • Always pick-up packages promptly. Never leave them overnight on your porch.
  • If you are unable to pick-up your package, have a trusted neighbor pick it up for you.
  • Consider having the delivery carrier hold the package at their facility for you to pick up.
  • If shipping from Amazon, consider using their lockers for pick up.

“Packages left on the front porch in plain view are a crime of opportunity,” noted Richard Lee, a crime prevention officer with the South Pasadena Police Department. “Some thieves may follow the delivery truck and wait for the package to be delivered. With the increase of online shopping, especially during the holidays, parcel package thefts will also increase.”