Wilmington sees uptick in porch pirate cases

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Wilmington Police say there have been 130 cases of porch pirates so far this year, up from 80 cases in 2019 (photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say there have been 130 cases of porch pirates so far this year, up from 80 cases in 2019.

They say it could be because more people are shopping online this year, meaning more packages, but they aren’t sure.

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The key to stopping the thieves is prevention.

WPD says to make sure you bring your packages inside as quickly as possible. Suggesting having them delivered to a neighbor’s house or having them bring them inside or place them in a hiding spot for you if you are friendly with them.

Another possibility is scheduling delivery times with companies that offer that service, making sure packages are delivered when you will be home or scheduling an in-store pickup.

If you feel comfortable, they suggest shopping locally in-store to support local businesses that have struggled this year and preventing your items from being stolen. They emphasize making sure you are safe when doing this, waiting six feet apart and wearing a mask.

“Our main message is just don’t leave your packages unattended for long periods of time and just find whatever way you can to make sure that you’re getting them inside that way you don’t lose your items because prevention is really key in these cases,” WPD Spokesperson Jessica Williams said.

Without witnesses, photo or video evidence, Williams says it is difficult to catch these criminals. She says officers only have the tracking number to go off of when searching for a package which is usually quickly discarded once the thief removes the item from the box.